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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, December 15, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading  | Mark 9:9–13

As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He said to them, “Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.” (NRSV)

Have you ever had to keep a secret? One that would be such good news to share but you knew that you couldn’t share it until the right time, no matter how badly you wanted to tell everyone in that very moment? For a personal example, it’s taking all of my self-control to not tell my mom about a present that I’m excited to give her for Christmas. Or how I recently had to keep from our friends the news that my roommate was adopting a puppy, just in case the adoption fell through for whatever reason.

Those feelings of anticipation and excitement are just a small fraction of what I imagine Peter, James, and John must be feeling in this moment as they process with one another all that they have experienced on the mountain. In this season of Advent during a pandemic, I am tempted to rush straight to Christmas—forget the waiting and dive right into the celebrating. Of course, Christmas will be different this year as we can’t celebrate in ways that we normally would. Perhaps what I need to do is to really lean into the waiting and anticipation of Advent as a practice in patience, not just for Christmas, but also for the return, once there is widespread access to the COVID-19 vaccines, to some semblance of life as we knew it before the pandemic began.

God, in this season of Advent, be with us as we attempt to practice patience in all that we await during this time. Amen.

Written by Katrina Buchanan, Editorial Assistant

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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