Pause

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

from “The Summons,” John Bell, 1987

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Listen

Shepherd of Israel, listen! You, the one who leads Joseph as if he were a sheep. You, who are enthroned upon the winged heavenly creatures. Show yourself before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh! Wake up your power! Come to save us! Restore us, God! Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

Psalm 80:1-3

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Think

When my oldest daughter was three years old, I was afraid to let her help me put out the family heirloom nativity. Instead, I went to the attic to get her child-friendly fabric nativity. After getting distracted in the attic, a few minutes later I heard from below, “Daddy… Have you found a Jesus I can touch?”

Amid the trappings of the holidays, sometimes we struggle during this time of the year. Sometimes life is difficult and the holidays seem to bring more frustration than joy.

Psalm 80 is a communal prayer for help, a prayer for life to be restored in a death-filled situation. In these times we need more than a porcelain Jesus placed safely in the nativity. We need to find the Jesus we can touch.

For those who are struggling today, “Immanuel — God with us” may need to be more than a decorative phrase on a Christmas card. Maybe this Advent, we all need the life-giving promise of a God who is with us — a Jesus we can touch.

Dale Tadlock

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Pray

Immanuel, God with us, during this time of Advent, give me the courage to believe and trust in a Jesus I can touch, even when I may not sense your presence. Revive and restore my awareness of you in small, but life-giving ways each day. Amen.

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Go

Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

from “The Summons,” John Bell, 1987

Dale Tadlock

Dale Tadlock is a veteran youth minister who now serves as a Coordinator at Passport Camps. A Mississippi native, Dale now resides in Birmingham, AL, with his wife and two teenage daughters.

Advent Waiting: Wexford Carol - O Come LIttle Children

David Burroughs

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