12-6 Advent Devotional


Allison Byerley

Nehemiah 9:1-3, 9-15

In the TV show “Blindspot” a woman emerges from a duffle bag in Times Square, covered in enigmatic tattoos that are clues to crimes and criminals. However, she has amnesia. Her past is a mystery and living without a past impacts her present and her future. She desperately wants to know who she is, to have an identity.

The people of Israel have spiritual amnesia. In the decades of exile, they lost their connection to the stories of Israel and how God delivered and preserved them. As Nehemiah leads them in the rebuilding of Jerusalem, he also has to help them recover their spiritual memory, to know who God is and what God has done. The people gather and hear their history with God, beginning with creation. Today, they remember God hearing their cry when they were slaves, God’s deliverance, and God’s care in the wilderness. Remembering gives them identity and purpose.

Do we have spiritual amnesia in this season? Advent is a time to remember why Jesus, though in the form of God, emptied himself and became human. As we wait for the Christ child to be born, remember how God has acted and is acting among us. Advent reminds us of our identity in Christ, whose we are and who we are. Remember and share the story and yourself with someone this Christmas.

Rev. Dr. Allison Byerley is the Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Hawkins, TX.

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


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