Daily Bread December 09

Old Lenses
Larry McGuire of Gilbert, AZ, USA

I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
    I will sing praises to my God all my life long….
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the LORD their God,
who made heaven and earth,
    the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
     who executes justice for the oppressed;
    who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
     the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
    the LORD loves the righteous. -Psalm 146: 2, 5-8

For years I wore Oakley sunglasses that gave me the freedom to change lenses depending on the light or the color I wanted-brown, clear, orange. After many years I decided to switch to a style that didn’t give me that freedom. If I wanted a different color, I’d need to buy a pair in that color.

After several years of wearing the same prescription eyeglasses, I found frames I really liked. They were sunglasses, but I was assured the lenses could be removed and prescription lenses inserted. I purchased the glasses, took them to the eye doctor, and had my exam. Then the fun part-selecting frames! However, I already had frames, so we discussed my options for lenses and settled on what would meet my needs. The clerk popped out the old lenses in the frames, wrapped them, and handed them to me. I wondered what I could do with them.

We live in a time when many of our lenses of faith are no longer useful. Midst decades of transition upon transition we continue to try to use the old lenses, hoping they will help us see clearly again. Growing disciples require lenses for the context of today’s world. We need to hear God’s constant call to “Look again. See again!”

Advent is an opportunity for each of us to adjust our lens of expectation. Do we experience Advent using the lens of previous encounters, or will we come to the journey this year willing to anticipate new ideas, new experiences, and new relationships? The choice is ours. What lens will you choose?

Advent Prayer Phrase

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).

Advent Spiritual Practice

Breathe deeply and spend a few moments inviting silence to deepen around you. Pay attention to what is forming in you this day as you prayerfully consider the following questions: What awareness or gift begins to emerge in you through the practice of waiting? When do you notice being invited to resist rushing to the next thing and remain present with what may be slowly unfolding? What can you learn from being fully present in the waiting times?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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