2011 Advent Devotion- Saturday, December 3

Saturday, December 3
Psalm 90:3-6

Oh, how little we are before God! A thousand years is a ‘watch’—a third part of the night. We rise and wither like one-day grass. God sweeps us away like flyaway hair. In sum: life is short and then we die.

But between the beginning and our end, how do we live? A few years after my grandmother died, she came in a dream. She was sitting on a gray couch, younger than I’d known her, elegant. “Grandmother, you’re dead!” I said. “I got through,” she replied simply. Her face was shining.

Then my grandmother leaned forward to tell me a secret. “Just be happy.” I woke up surprised.

But the Psalmist would agree, asking this same timeless God to “teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” And yes, be happy. Wake up in the morning, satisfied and joyful.

Be present for your life, whatever you are doing with it.

This is what Emily Webb in the play Our Town tries to tell her family after her death, when she goes back to her 12th birthday. They’re running through life’s motions, even on a good day.

“They don’t understand, do they?” She muses to a ghostly friend.

“No, dear. They don’t understand.”

We are born once. We have the gift of God’s grace. Treasure these days.

Teach us to number our days, each day, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Amen.

Rev. Dr. Kathryn Poethig, associate professor, Global Studies, CSU Monterey Bay, and member, Peace Discernment Steering Committee PC(USA)
Seaside, California

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