Prepare to Listen. If using the Advent wreath, light the 1st purple candle. Take time to be still and silent for however long it takes. Pray: Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually. (1 Chron 16:11)
Prayerfully Read I Chronicles 16:8-13
8O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
9Sing to him, sing praises to him,
tell of all his wonderful works.
10Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
11Seek the LORD and his strength,
seek his presence continually.
12Remember the wonderful works he has done,
his miracles, and the judgements he uttered,
13O offspring of his servant Israel,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
When David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, he appointed musicians to lead in singing praises to the LORD. The hymn they sang is a selection of verses from three Psalms, skillfully arranged for this special occasion. The Ark was a visible symbol of God’s continual presence. Advent is a journey of preparation to celebrate God’s in-breaking into the world in the very real presence of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. It’s appropriate for us to join the praise and sing, “O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name.”
Call on the LORD’s name. This isn’t merely praying to God in times of need or want, as important as that is. To call (or invoke) the Lord’s name means rejecting all other gods and making the Lord “the single referent of life,” as Brueggemann explains. In other words, clinging to no other, be it person or thing, than the Lord who saved us. Calling on God encompasses all of life, not just a part of our life when we’re in need. It means, as the psalmist urged, seeking God’s presence continually, forsaking whatever has our allegiance and takes up our time. We may not worship idols made of material stuff, as Israel was prone to do. The temptation to create images of Jesus that affirm our beliefs and behaviors, is real and sometimes we fall and are slow to repent, give up our old ways.
To whom or what do you give your allegiance? As Advent begins, commit again to calling on God’s name and no other.
Respond in Prayer
Lord Jesus, I call on your name today and pray for the courage and strength to live a life so that others know you and you alone have my allegiance. Amen.
Live Obediently. Call on the name of the Lord.
 Psalms 105, 96 and 106.
 Brueggemann, Walter. Genesis. Atlanta, GA: John Knox Press. 1982, p. 124.
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Reading my Bible has been central in my life since I received my first Bible at 8 years of age. My decades of reading, studying and teaching the Bible gives my devotions a unique and enriching perspective. Reflecting on Jesus' family tree enriched my understanding of Jesus and the salvation he offers.