Advent Devotional • January 4

Saturday, January 4
Written by Rev. Raygan Baker
First Congregational Church of Fresno
Isaiah 60:1-6

“Arise! Shine: your light has come, and the Lord’s glory has shone upon you.”

This promise sounds wonderful, except then the prophet goes on to admit that we can still see much of the darkness that we are much more familiar with. But even with this deep truth, the prophet lift our chins up to see the far brighter glory God is bringing into the world.

144 years ago today (1875), the German-language poet Rainer Maria Rilke was born. His birth not technically the what we celebrate during the Christmas season, but Rilke can be an especially helpful companion with us. Rilke’s conviction was that one of our deepest purposes as human beings is to find the beauty in everyday things. In a letter to his protégée, Franz Xaver Kappus, Rilke famously wrote: “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

What are you willing to sit with, to not give into isolating darkness, in order to more fully see the emerging beauty?

 

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You can download a PDF of the devotional here.

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