Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Living Psalm 50 in Advent's Blahs

By now we're midway through the season of Advent, nearly two weeks away from celebrating the Nativity of Our Lord or in Layman's terms we're halfway through the Christmas Crush. As we near Christmas Eve/Day many people feel longings that they're not quite going to capture that perfect holiday glow or may be feeling something missing whether it is a loved one who has passed in the past year or the financial crunch or just getting cabin fever in the arctic cold front that is gripping our nation this mid-December. Regardless of what it is this time of December/Advent seems to be the time of year when our inner Scrooge reappears.

So what can we do? Maybe Psalm 50 has an informative word for us that can help re frame our mood this time of year. Psalm 50 has to do with what God expects of us in relationship which comes out most clearly in verses 14-15 and 23:
"Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. ... Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me; to those who go the right way I will show the salvation of God."

Giving Thanks is, of course, not only a national holiday, but a way of living. As I was driving in today thinking about all of the cruddy cold weather in the forecast it really got me down to think about how limiting more snow and freezing rain will be on not only myself but many people I know. If that is what drives my day, thinking about how many people are going to be negatively effected by the fowl weather that is being predicted it will likely drive my day into the dumps.

But what if I remember how upon getting up this morning Kathy took the time to fix us all scrambled eggs, toast and bacon? How much differently will my day be if I thank God for my family no matter what crosses my day? It may not seem like a big thing, but if it is indeed what God wants from us, to offer thanks in all ways and at many times throughout our days certainly it will have power to keep our heart and mind in the right place even in the mid-December doldrums.


  1. I've had an especially hard time with my inner scrooge this year too but reading your daily Advent Devotions helps me to put things in perspective. Thanks

  2. I was in a store yesterday and noticed a sign on the counter that made me laugh out loud. The store offers layaway, and there was a picture of a smiley face wearing a Santa hat, with brow furrowed, deep in thought. The glaring caption on the sign was to have read, 'Thinking about Christmas?', but, whether by chance or design, another sign had been pushed against the first one so that the message now read, 'Thinking about Christ?' I thought about that all day. I'm not going to take that for granted but rather will think of it, as my friend Page calls them, a 'God moment.'
    Thanks for being yet another reminder. A quiet voice can indeed be louder than all the media noise.