Advent Day Three: In a Place Like This

Are you able to name a time in your life when you offered a costly “Here I am, Lord” prayer of surrender? What happened?

Spiritual Practice: Prayer

As you pray focus not on “behold me” prayer but on beholding Jesus. Don’t start with your ‘Here I am’ to God,” rather start with God’s ‘Here I am’ to you.”

A shoot will come up from the 

     stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on
  the Spirit of wisdom and of
  the Spirit of counsel and of power,
  the Spirit of knowledge and of the
     fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the

He will not judge by what he see with
     his eyes,
  or decide by what he hears with his
but with righteousness he will judge
     the needy,
  with justice he will give decisions
     for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of
     his mouth;
  with the breath of his lips he will
     slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
  and faithfulness the sash around his

The wolf will live with the lamb,
  the leopard will lie down with the
the calf and the lion and the yearling
  and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
  their young will lie down together,
  and the lion will eat straw like the
The infant will play near the hole of
     the cobra,
  and the young child put his hand into
     the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
  on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the
     knowledge of the Lord
  as the waters cover the sea.

                      —Isaiah 11:1-9 (NIV)

Ponder and pray over what it means to wait for the kingdom of God to be revealed, to groan and struggle and weep even while taking comfort in the work God has already accomplished through Jesus Christ.  What does it mean to sing hope and good news in a minor key?

The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish.
                    John 1:14 (MSG)

Take a moment to ponder the revealed glory and generosity of God in Christ.

reflections taken from Two Steps Forward: A Story of Persevering in Hope by Sharon Garlough Brown