Prepare to Listen. Light the first two purple candles and pray: Lord, I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvellous for me.
Prayerfully Read Psalm 131
1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvellous for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.
3 O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time on and for evermore.
Charles Spurgeon once described Psalm 131 as “one of the shortest to read, but one of the longest to learn” . Understanding these few verses isn’t the problem. We can figure that out easily enough. Learning by living them consistently, every day; that’s the difficulty. It takes a long time to learn by living. What the pray-er wants, humility (not lifting up her heart or eyes too high), and rejects, pride (occupying herself “with things too great and too marvellous”) sound great until we try it. We’re surrounded today by a culture that rejects humility and encourages pride. We reward those who pursue things beyond them, who strive to be number 1, who elevate themselves above others. In and of itself, this isn’t bad…. Except when it becomes the driving force of our lives and others get left behind and/or are hurt and suffer.
The antidote to pride? First, a return to the quietness of a weaned child with its mother. This isn’t a return to infantile dependency. Rather, like the weaned child we begin learning to no longer expect another to take care of us on demand. It’s not easy but it is necessary as we learn to take more responsibility for our lives with its needs and desires. Second, we live with hope, that is, a deep sense of trust, in the Lord.
Reflect on things you occupy your mind with regularly. Are they too marvellous for you to bother with? If so, relinquish them.
Respond to Jesus
Lord, guard my heart against pride so that I remain humble and trusting in you alone. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world with hope in the Lord.
 In Peterson, E. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980, p. 152.
I am convinced that reading the Christian Bible is essential for our Christian spiritual nourishment. I speak from experience, over 60 years of experience. I also believe we'll never get bored reading the Bible over and over. Each time I read it, I learn something new. Read with me during Advent and learn to wait for Christ with heart and mind alert for his coming. The readings draw on my background of study and teaching the Bible for over 30 years.