My wonderful Advent devotional begins each year on November 24. This is my third year reading through it, and it’s funny to see how the ideas from the devotions have seeped into my brain. I guess that’s why these words from Blumhardt resonated with me so deeply this year. Part of it is that I am neck deep in reading about the phenomenon of global slavery today. Reading so much about the darkness of the world and desiring to do something to change it adds weight to the following words. I highlighted my favorite parts:
“As long as God’s kingdom has to be fought for, it is more important to be dressed for work–ready for action--to make an effort to do something in keeping with God’s plan, often against the whole weight of the world. A practical way exists, and we must be ready for this with our whole being.
‘But,’ someone may ask, ‘What sort of thing, exactly, are we to do? What will truly serve God and his coming reign?‘ This is a serious question; no human being can answer it. We have to learn to live in what is coming from God every day and to carry a light from this awareness into the darkness…
Anyone whose attention is fixed on the coming reign of God and who wants to see a change brought about in God’s house will become more and more aware that there exists a universal wrongness that is pulled over us like a choking, suffocating blanket.He will know that the thing to do is to take hold of God’s hand so that there is some effect on this night, so that at least a few areas are made receptive to God’s truth and justice and are made ready to receive God himself. But to do this work we have to have a light. With this light we can then illuminate every corner where we have some work to do…
Let us keep staunch our eagerness to do whatever comes to us of the truth. Then there will be knocks on our door, over and over, and God’s coming will not be hidden. For devoted hearts the light will keep dawning from him who is merciful and compassionate.
The work for God goes on quite simply in this way; one does not always have to wait for something out of the ordinary. The all-important thing is to keep your eyes on what comes from God and to make way for it to come into being here on the earth. If you always try to be heavenly and spiritually minded, you won’t understand the everyday work God has for you to do. But if you embrace what is to come from God, if you live for Christ’s coming in practical life, you will learn that divine things can be experienced here and now…”*
I don’t think I could read about the darkness in the world if I didn’t have hope in God. Because of my faith in Him, I have hope that there is something for me to do on this earth, something that can bring light and make a difference to others. And I know that to do that, I have to always look to Him and follow His guidance. The problems are too big for me to solve, so clearly, solving them is not my job. My job is to obey the nudges of the Holy Spirit and to spread love and light to the places the Spirit shows me. I think I can manage that.
*quote taken from:
Blumhardt, Christopher Friedrich. “Action in Waiting.” Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas. Farmington, PA: Plough Publishing House, 2001.