11-30 Advent Devotional

Not Here

Julie Holm

Psalm 90

 I wonder as I wander out under the sky

how Jesus our Savior was born for to die

for poor ordinary people like you and like I.


Psalm 90 lingers and provides a meditation on the shortness of life, and on death.   Returning to dust, swept away like grass, wasting away, living at best to be 70 or 80.   A strange, strange topic for the beginning of Advent.   But Advent, and Christmas, are linked irretrievably to Good Friday, and Good Friday and Easter are linked irretrievably to Advent.

The gift of Salvation, which many Christians link to the cross, and the cross only, is given to us as much in the incarnation.  It is as much a gift of the Word who comes to dwell with us, who comes to be fully human, that we might be raised ourselves.  The One who lived life with such integrity that the Roman Empire felt they had no choice but to execute him, the One who was raised, that One was once the child in a manger, the man baptized by John, the prophet teaching on the hill, the resister shutting down the temple by upturning the tables.   It is all tied together.

Glenn Burlegh hightlighs this in his Christmas Cantata, Born to Die.  My brother Peter Hamm wrote a beautiful song at Christmas that used the words we know from the Easter story, He is not Here.  Starting with the shepheds and ending at the tomb, Peter brought together the life of Jesus, the salvation we wait for, into a whole.   So as we wait for the birth, let us feel free to still meditate on death.

Listen to He Is Not Here at:

Rev. Julie Holm pastors the Brush Valley Fusion of Faith in Rebersburg and Madisonburg, PA:  St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, St. Peter’s Lutheran (ELCA) and Christ United Church of Christ. She also edited this booklet.

©2016 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s