"This Advent Season, start — or end — your day with these meditations provided by faculty, students, and alumni/ae of the Austin Seminary community."
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Advent Devotional for Monday, December 3
As I read this psalm out loud, I imagine Mary sitting across the room, listening. She twists and turns. She can’t seem to get comfortable. The baby is lying on her sciatic nerve and pain is shooting down her left leg. She tries to get him to move by turning on her side and pushing on the little body. Please make this pain go away, she pleads. Please get this over with, she begs. But her mother has told her: All in good time. God’s time. You can’t make it happen. You wait and pray for some relief.
Psalm 90 puts words to this human experience of time. Like Mary, waiting for something to change her condition, we are bound to life measured day by day by relentless day of toil and trouble. For God, on the other hand, a thousand years go by as if they were a dream in a single night. In our life span, we hardly have a chance to make an impression on God. In fact, Moses suspects, what impression we do make is by our sins, sins that evoke the wrath of God.
Unlike most psalms of lament, which this one surely is, Moses’ poem does not make a final turn to thanking God for saving us. No. Moses leaves us waiting and praying for relief. He ends with a plea: Please make our work prosper! Please make our lives count for something!
Like Mary, sometimes we just sit and wait. But we know what Moses did not, that Mary’s baby—when he comes and when he comes again—will change our plight. God will see us differently through the glory of Jesus Christ
This day we wait. It may be a day full of toil and trouble. It may be a day we prosper. I ask that your presence within me, whatever this day brings, remind me of the hope of Jesus Christ for me and also for all the people with whom I share this day. May I see them reflecting glory. Amen.
Vice President for Education Beyond the Walls at Austin Seminary
For the glory of God and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is a seminary in the Presbyterian-Reformed tradition whose mission is to educate and equip individuals for the ordained Christian ministry and other forms of Christian service and leadership; to employ its resources in the service of the church; to promote and engage in critical theological thought and research; and to be a winsome and exemplary community of God's people.