My advent devotional discipline, which I will honor for the 30 days of December, has been praying the hours. I had used The Divine Hours by Phillis Tickle in the past, but not for a while.
This year I purchased Christmastide: Prayers for Advent Through Epiphany from The Divine Hours. It mirrors the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany section from the Autumn and Winter Edition, but a smaller size so it is easier to carry around during the day.
Setting time aside each day for morning, noon, evening and end of the day prayer has helped frame my days. I have also appreciated the time to pray for the person/people/group that is on the star for the day.
One of the most precious God moments that has happened occurred last week. I was packing up my things to head out of town for the weekend. I was heading to a congregation in Pennsylvania for a call sermon and congregational vote. The wonderful news is that the weekend went well and the congregation extended the call and I accepted. The star I pulled out of the basket that Friday morning, as my travels began, was the star for the congregation I currently serve. It was a pleasant reminder that I am the pastor at St. Johns, while that will be changing in the future, I still hold them in prayer especially as we continue to journey through Advent together and begin our goodbyes.
The next month will be full of emotion, challenges, celebrating shared memories and preparing for our paths to go in different ways in the future. I continue to be amazed and blessed as God presents opportunities and moments that shed light on the ministry that has happened between the congregation and myself. Today alone has been tearful . . . in a most wonderful way.
I thank God for my time here, for the experiences, for my friends and colleagues . . . for all of it . . . all of you . . . for lifting up my gifts, shaping my ministry and giving me moments I'll never forget!
Until next time . . .