Devotional

As a member of the Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Austin, a few weeks ago I was asked if I would be interested in writing a devotional as part of their 2011 Advent Devotional. This was a new exercise for me, but writing for an audience has always been something I enjoy doing, so I forged ahead. My assigned advent date was today, December 2nd, so I thought I would share it on my blog as well. Whether you are a religious person or not, I hope you can find something meaningful in the words. For Democrats wondering why their many prayers of forward progress often go unanswered in this state, perhaps it will help to remember that the important part is we seek progress.

Texts for Friday December 2
Morning: Ps. 102, 148
Evening: Ps. 130, 16
Amos 5:1–17
Jude 1–16
Matt. 22:1–14

Reflection:

Amos 5:1–17

“Seek Me and live”

What does it mean “to seek?” We’re all seeking something: a job, a partner, happiness. But it’s a funny little word, “seek.” Visually and audibly, it likens itself to a cousin of “see,” as if the “k” on the end simply obscures what you’re looking for. And it’s true that at first glance, “to seek” might imply that one is looking for something with the intention of finding it. But “to seek,” as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, has much more subtle definitions: to resort to, to try to, to ask for, to make an attempt.

How often do we seek something and become discouraged with the lack of progress or frustrated with the answer we find? How often do we bemoan that we sought a goal or a conclusion only to find that it escaped us? How many millions wonder why, no matter how much we seek God, He doesn’t appear?

To seek God, we must seek the whole of what it is that God stands for: justice, peace, love, forgiveness, understanding. But why, with all of this seeking going on, are we still unable to achieve harmony between nations? Why do we still struggle to grant forgiveness to society's worst offenders? Why do we still persecute or banish those who we don't understand?

After all, we are seeking something, which is so very close to seeing something -- so why haven’t we seen it yet?

Therein lies the struggle with that unassuming little verb “to seek.” For we are made no promises by God that in order to live we must see anything. We are are pardoned of finding, or knowing, or achieving or owning. To live we must first make an attempt. We must resort. We must try. We must ask. In order to live, we simply must seek.

Seek good and not evil,
That you may live.
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