Saint Mark Daily Advent Devotional – December 5, 2014

by Laura Butler

Scripture: Psalm 148

Praise the Lord!  In this Advent season, when we are so busy and distracted, praise Him!  The stars above are His.  The snow (or the usual chilly rain that falls), the mountains, the cedars, all animals, all people, “both young men, and maidens; old men, and children,” are to praise the name of the Lord.

It is the season of hope and love and cedars and children.  For many of us, there’s an Elf on the Shelf, watching the antics of the children.  Probably more interesting to watch would be antics of the creative minds at work, resulting in a new location each day for the elf’s vantage point.  

Fifty years ago, there was a devilish elf living in the lowest boughs of the cedar Christmas tree on a farm out in the country.  The tree would be massive and not well-shaped because it was cut from the woods or the edges of the pasture.  But it was well-chosen from all those considered during the previous year as candidates. 

The Elf probably originated from the downtown Rich’s store and reappeared year after year, a little bit more worn each year.  The gifts under the tree were few and simple but chosen perfectly to match the interest of each child.  The youngest child would race into the farmhouse, drop to the floor and slide under the tree to find the location of the Elf this year, always on a very low bough and snuggled next to the trunk of the itchy cedar tree.   There was a perfection in the simplicity and the constancy throughout the years.  As Amy Grant sang in 1983, “Hiding there beneath the Christmas tree, how they are like the child in me! See the wonder in their eyes, like a fairytale come true. One more time I realize all the love our lives found in You. Love has come for the world to know…”

Prayer: Lord, be with us during this busy season.  Help us to remember to praise you every day and to remember the hope and love you bring us.  You are always there with us. Amen

Saint Mark United Methodist Church


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