December 11th Advent Daily Devotional

Encountering the Holy

Allison Byerley

Ezekiel 1:1-14

Too often, I discover that I have encountered God AFTER the fact. I am like Jacob who awoke from his dream and exclaimed, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I didn’t know it!”

That is not a problem for Ezekiel! As his prophetic life begins, there can be no doubt that he has been visited by the Holy One. His description of the vision of the chariot is vivid, detailed, and outside the scope of our world. It must be the chariot of God, and “wherever the spirit would go, they went…” If you keep reading, the visions continue, each growing more fantastical and culminating with the “appearance of the likeness of the Lord.”

Encounters people have with God throughout the Bible are wide and varied. Some are personal, like the appearance to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre; others are grand, like God’s appearance to Isaiah in the temple.

The encounter for which we prepare this Advent season is in a different category altogether. There is no fiery chariot or throne in heaven. Rather, there is a newborn infant wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger in a barn. Yet, this encounter is as fantastical and profound as Ezekiel’s. C. S. Lewis considered the incarnation in Jesus the greatest miracle, and everything led up to it or flowed from it, including the resurrection.

Advent is our invitation to the encounter with the newborn Christ child. It is our reminder that God is present now, nearer than our own breath. As we continue this season, look around and listen closely. Encounter the sacred in the ordinary.

Lord, open my eyes to the sacred all around me. Prepare me for my encounter with the Christ child.


Rev. Dr. Allison Byerley is the Pastor of Mariposa UMC in Mariposa, CA.


©2017 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group. This work is published under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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