In her book, An Altar in the World, Barbara Brown Taylor describes an interesting preaching invitation she received.
Many years ago now, a wise old priest invited me to come speak at his church in Alabama. “What do you want me to talk about?” I asked him.
“Come tell us what is saving your life now,” he answered.
The idea for this devotional booklet’s theme came to me when Daniel had class canceled due to a potential COVID exposure. (Both of us tested negative, but he was still out of school for the week.) A friend of a dear friend had just passed away from COVID, and another friend had just lost her husband that day from cancer. I needed to get out of the house, so we went through the McDonald’s drive-thru to get French fries for him, and I was driving around to give him a chance to eat them. My iPod was set to my Praise & Worship playlist, and songs kept coming on that were speaking to me in a way that was sorely needed at that moment, and the story from An Altar in the World popped into my mind.
Life since COVID burst onto the scene has been difficult. According to the World Health Organization, there have been more than 255 million positive COVID cases worldwide and 5.1 million deaths. According to the CDC, there have been 47.4 million cases in the USA and deaths are approaching 800,000. The pandemic has contributed to an economic downturn, exacerbated supply chain shortages, and increased unemployment. In Skagit County, we can add flooding to the list of things adding to the stress level of people.
In this time when good news seems to be in short supply, the question of what is saving us and giving us the hope to persevere is an important one. I posed the question to various people at St. Paul’s, and their answers make up this booklet. Each day’s reflection has a Bible verse, a short meditation, and a prayer at the end.
There is also a playlist here for you to enjoy. It is music that has been saving me for the last 18 months.
May this booklet bless you and give you hope as we prepare again for the coming of our King this Advent.