On the first day of each week of Advent, Seeing the Word will post an illumination paired with an audio reading of the associated Scripture passage. The subsequent days will feature one of the six movements of visio divina: Listening, Meditating, Seeing, Praying, Contemplating, and Becoming Christ-like.
WEEK FOUR•DAY Seven
The Birth of Christ
I am challenged to resist falling into the trap of familiarity with this story or any other passage I know well. What has become so familiar that I gloss over it, thinking I already know what it has to say? The Living Word of God is just that—living. Even in the most familiar passages and stories, I can hear a new word from God.
I long to join the angels in their heavenly song, glorifying God. Again, he doesn’t need me to, but I need to; I long to. How do I do that? By carrying his light into a world bathed in darkness. The world is full of judgement and shame. The light of Christ coming into our humanness shatters the notion that we can earn his love. He has come to us. We want to do good works because we recognize this love we’ve been shown, not because we think they will somehow save us.
Let all I do be for the glory of God. Remind me that God is Creator and I am the created; he is the redeemer, I am the redeemed. It cost me nothing but it cost God everything. As I come closer to his light, I see my fallen-ness more clearly. I am humbled as I recognize my need for this gift freely given. How can I judge another? For we all fall short. Glory to God in the highest!
Laurie E. Neill is a pastor at First Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND. She graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN in 2012. Prior to ordination, she worked as a lay pastor at The Lutheran Church of Christ the King in Moorhead, MN. She became “hooked” on The Saint John’s Bible during the Praying with Imagination retreat this past summer.