Saint Mark Daily Advent Devotional – January 4, 2015
by Jennifer Hansen
Scripture: Joshua 3:14-4:7
I love to hike, especially on trails that travel though national parks or state parks. It soothes my soul to be able to shut out the busyness of the everyday and to slow down to get back in sync with creation. It is on these walks that occasionally I stumble upon ruins of the past. That happened this summer as I was hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.
After a four mile hike along the beginnings of the Colorado River, deep into uninhabited park lands (well, by humans anyway), I came across what remained of an abandoned mining community. There was not much left to mark the existence of this former settlement on the banks of the Colorado River other than a few log planks and a tiny sign that was erected by the Park Service commemorating Lulu City. While I enjoyed a picnic lunch sitting on the stones on the bank of the river, I couldn’t help but contemplate what it was like for the people who had lived here and wonder what significant events had happened in the life of this community.
In today’s passage, God commanded Joshua to have the people gather stones from the river Jordan to erect a monument on the shore as a reminder of the significance of the crossing of the Jordan. God’s presence with the people made it possible for the people to cross the river, which was overflowing its banks, by dividing the waters and making a path. The memorial made of the stones served to remind future generations of the miraculous crossing made possible by God. God intended for the people to reflect on their past in order to remember how God had walked with them.
What markers do you see today that God may be using to remind you to reflect on God’s presence in your life?
Prayer: Gracious God, help me be aware of the reminders each day, of your constant and abiding presence with us. Amen.
Saint Mark United Methodist Church
I too find great solace and wonder in the woods. A huge “marker” of the presence of God in my life happened a week ago. I was involved in a bad car accident, but came out of it relatively unscathed, as did the passangers in the other vehicle. Also, mentally I have been able to see the positives in this accident, even though I was at fault. The past me would have made this a huge drama, spinning myself down in a shame spiral. The presence of my higher power, and my actual moment to moment presence, has made this not so.