Advent Devotional – Saturday, Dec 29th

By: Chad Hyatt

Psalm 80:1-7

IMG_3175Reflection—v.2, ‘come to save us’
The image of holding is one I keep coming back to when I talk about life, leadership, ministry, or Mercy. There is something about the language of holding—it’s personal, intimate, close, engaged, hands-on—even though what I am talking about is often intangible and hard to grasp, like ‘pain’ or ‘space.’ What this image captures for me is similar to the idea and language of presence—it’s about being there, wherever there is, and refusing to leave or run away or abandon others or yourself or even God. It’s remaining engaged and attentive, even when you are unsure how to reconcile, heal or lead—to love or make peace or be faithful. It’s the opposite of the arrogance that believes one’s own superior skill set or know-how or charisma or wisdom can ‘fix’ something or someone. There’s a respectfulness when we merely try to hold what is given to us in a moment. In that sense, in that response to what is given or offered, holding something is an implicit response to grace, grace that perhaps we can’t even see as grace in the moment. There is a sense of acceptance in the image of holding something that is given, even if we are not sure that something is what we want, but we hold it anyway. Mary’s pondering heart models holding. So does the community she held together with Elizabeth. So does God, who looks on us, sees us, comes to us—and keeps the promise to save us.
Prayer: God of Mercy, we hold the pain, in ourselves and around us, and we hold to hope.