First Sunday of Advent

As We Wait for the Christ Child

 As We Wait for the Christ Child

Psalm 25:1-10 and I Thessalonians 3:9-13

“In You, Lord my God, I put my trust!” David’s commitment in Psalm 25 is strong. He asks to be shown God’s way, to be guided in truth. Oh! if each of us could ask the same — and then get out of  Creator’s way!

“My Life Is in You, Lord” is not a Christmas carol, but it could definitely be an Advent song. If my life is in God and my hope is in God, and I ask God to guide me and teach me and I repent and ask for forgiveness, I will be blessed. There will be reconciliation!

Continuing with the promises of Psalm 25, I think of the parallels of being in ministry within my Native American community. I’ve learned to ask to be taught, to not let me be put to shame but to be shown the paths of Christ-like behavior as I am in ministry among my people, where we show respect to family, community and our faith in Creator’s image within us. 

God is always good and forgives us our sins, especially those we can identify for ourselves.  David reminds us that “all the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of [God’s] covenant.”  

Counted as Family

Though I may feel out of place in parts of my Native community, I am counted as family by Native American women and men who, as David said of God, have forgiven me and have taught me; who call upon me to use my gifts and graces to enhance their lives and the lives of those in their parishes and personal ministries as they strive to be Christ-like.

As Paul wrote to the good people of Thessalonica, he thanked God for all the joy they had in God. What if we were to pray night and day that we may see our brothers and sisters in Christ again and supply what is lacking in our faith?  

As we enter this season of Advent, may we ask God to make our love increase and overflow for each other and for those outside our immediate circles — just as Paul’s love flowed for his brothers and sisters in the new church. May God strengthen our hearts so we will be receptive to new teachings and cultures and will open our minds to the presence of God among all holy ones!

Raised Choctaw in Oklahoma, Glenna Brayton has worked with other Native American groups throughout her life as an educator in New Mexico. She was coordinator of Native American ministries in the Texas Conference and now in her home district, Utah/Western Colorado, in the Mountain Sky Conference, which she represents on the Program Advisory Group.

Posted or updated: 11/30/2018 12:00:00 AM

Give Thanks. Give Now.

Advent 2018

December 2: First Sunday of Advent
December 9: Second Sunday of Advent
December 16: Third Sunday of Advent
December 23: Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 31: New Year's Eve

Many of this year’s Advent devotions were written by Native American women, reflecting United Methodist Women's principles of inclusion, multiculturalism and equity.

Contact the Spiritual Growth Office:

Alisha L. Gordon, M.Div.
Executive for Spiritual Growth

phone 212-870-3905