Advent 2014 – Week 1 Day 2

1 Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord or declare all his praise? Psalm 106:1-2
There is very little in this world that can be said to “faithfully endure.” Everything we can touch, taste and see, the conveniences that help us through our day, the materials and structures that protect our bodies from the elements – they all wear out. Pipes burst, television screens get busted, computers crash, zippers fall off coats and shoes get holes in them. And that’s just our stuff! Even our bodies do not faithfully endure. They crumble, they give out, they decay whether by sickness or the passage of time. In contrast to our frailties, this Psalm shouts praises to the One who is steadfast and faithful to endure. God knows no decay. He cannot fracture or crumble. He defeated death. His love endures – faithfully. Many times in the season of Advent, our hearts get caught up in the momentum of what must be done and how it will be paid for. These realities crowd out the praise in our hearts for the goodness of God. Our focus so easily shifts from what faithfully endures to what temporarily gratifies. The desire to give good gifts as we celebrate the season starts with love. But as our focus gradually shifts, like little foxes in the vineyard, the joy is stolen from our hearts. Sometime during this wrestling match for our hearts, we realize we long to shout our praises to God with the Psalmist. So how can we infuse the truth of God’s goodness in the midst of such holiday momentum? Stop! Every day, intentionally cease. Sing songs to God of his goodness. Create space in the day. Invite the Holy Spirit to give fresh eyes to see God’s movement in your life. Remind your heart and soul of his good promises. This year, as you and your family experience the rhythms of Advent and Christmas, don’t add a new obligation or another thing that must be done. Focus instead on the truth of God’s goodness and the ways he has already revealed it. Speak to one another of his goodness to you and keep a list of what you are grateful for each day. Sing songs at the dinner table each night or before you put the kids to bed or even alone in your room. It has all been paid for already. Everything has already been accomplished. God is good. We can trust in His goodness and mercy to follow us all the days of our lives, for “his steadfast love endures forever.” Listen to Audrey Assad’s song, “Good to Me.”
“I put all my hope on the truth of your promise. / And I steady my heart on the ground of your goodness. / When I’m bowed down with sorrow, I will lift up your name. / And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy. / Because You are good to me, good to me. / You are good to me. And I lift my eyes to the hills where my help is found. / Your voice fills the night, I raise my head up to hear the sound. / And though fires burn all around me, I will praise You, my God. / And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy. / Because You are good to me, good to me. / You are good to me. Your goodness and mercy shall follow me all my life. / I will trust in your promise.”