Heard by God

Daily Reading for December 10

Do we feel seen, heard, remembered, and blessed by God? In our busy lives, we easily forget that we are precious in the sight of God. “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30). Indeed, it is our faith in God that reminds us we are forever in the sight of God. Our search for meaning as Christians is to come to this realization of knowing that we are always in God’s view. To live in the sight of God calls us to trust the providence and the workings of God.

The more we attune our lives to this reality, the more we take on the eyes of God. Numerous times throughout the Scriptures we hear God described as seeing the suffering of individuals and entire peoples. God does see the suffering of our hearts, which we try so hard to conceal from one another. God sees the suffering of millions of poor and homeless people, whom our society tries to hide from our view. God sees us when we are Leah, needing to give birth. God sees us when we are Jacob, struggling to make sense of God’s promises. God sees us when we are Rachel, desperate to have things work out.

Advent is also a time to be heard by God. To approach Christmas without prayer is to go to the airport without a ticket. God wants to hear our prayers, our hopes, our conflict, our pain, and our joys. In an ever more talkative society, we have distanced ourselves from talking to our Creator. As Christmas approaches, we spend a lot of time talking to friends, but few of us spend sufficient time giving God a chance to hear us. God knows that we are happy, but God wants us to sing thanks. God knows that we hurt, but God wants us to proclaim a ballad. God knows that we can speak, but God wants to hear our voices. How often do we cry out to God? How often do we sing God’s praises? When was the last time we said “I love you” to God?

Do we remember that we are beginning again, starting over and growing? It is a joyful season and also a difficult one. By the end of the year, the last thing most of us want is to be asked to improve and to grow. The weather and the light contribute to a desire to give up, to lie down and not do much. For us as Christians the call goes out to wake up and be watchful. Pay attention, the Scriptures remind us over and over again. In the quiet and in the cold, we listen attentively to God, and we warm our hearts by drawing close to God. Who knows the birth places deep within us that God will open?

How do we grow in the areas where we feel forgotten by God? How do we grow when we feel barren like Leah and Rachel? How do we grow in the quiet and the dark? Spend some time today reflecting on your spiritual journey in the dark night of the soul. Let us be still, let us be contemplative in our actions, not for our own sake, but because God needs us to be light, even as the night approaches.

From The Womb of Advent by Mark Bozutti-Jones. Copyright © 2007. Seabury Books, an imprint of Church Publishing. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY. www.churchpublishing.org

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