Saint Mark Daily Advent Devotional – December 13, 2014
by Mark LaRocca-Pitts
Scripture: Psalm 90:12
When we think about this season of Advent, we tend to think about birth – the birth of Jesus. Yet today’s readings are all about the end of days, the great apocalypse at the end of time, that day when everything hits the fan. It seems to suggest that with every new beginning there is also an end. And as we know, birth and death are inexorably intertwined. Living as if we will never die is a fairy tale: pleasant, but false. Psalm 90 reminds us that our lives are like a dream that vanishes with the morning light; like grass that flourishes in the morning, but in the evening withers away. We may live three score and ten, or four score, but their span is spent in toil and trouble and will soon disappear.
But must this be the case? We are told to “number our days that we might get a heart of wisdom.” Death by and in itself means nothing. But the knowledge of death can bear fruit in our life; through this knowledge we can gain a heart of wisdom. The whole point of apocalyptic literature is to help motivate us in the here and now to live lives of value, of meaning, and of worth. The whole point about knowing in our bones that our days are numbered and that we will, in fact, die is so that we might grab hold of life in the here and now and make the most of it.
There is a story arc to our life: a beginning and an end with a story in between. What is your story? Is it one of meaning, purpose, and worth? Or is it one that fritters away this gift called life with trite and meaningless activities?
Prayer: Lord, teach us to number our days, so that when death finds us, it might find us alive! Amen.