Advent Anticipation & Preparation:  The Practice of Journaling

Luke begins his gospel:

“Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.”  (Luke 1:1-4; NKJ)

I have long been fascinated by how Luke obtained the information contained in His Gospel.  Among the four Gospel writers, Luke was the only one not present for any of Jesus’ ministry.  Instead, his information came from interviews and conversations with those who were there.  It has long been asserted, in part given the unique details of Jesus’ birth, that one of his interview subjects was none other than Mary, the mother of our Lord, herself.  Did Mary pull out her journal when Luke interviewed her?  I doubt it, but it also wouldn’t surprise me.  In his magnificent book, The Destroyer of the Gods, Larry Hurtado writes that Christianity produced an explosion of writing unlike anything else in the Roman world or indeed in any other world religion.  It wasn’t limited to the gospel and epistle writers or church fathers. Astonishing numbers of ordinary Christians took up pen and papyrus to write their learnings and meditations on the faith.  There was something in Christianity that prompted people to write and record what God was teaching. 

Nowhere in scripture does it tell us to keep a journal, but there is great value in this ancient spiritual practice.  The act of writing causes us to think even more deeply and to articulate more clearly the truths we are discovering in scripture.  Keeping a journal helps us remember the answers to prayers that we have received.  I for one, have a woeful memory when it comes to the particular blessings of God in my life.  Writing them down and reviewing them periodically reminds me of the amazing grace of God that I have received.

We all go through the desert times, times of silence and waiting.  A journal can remind us that God has spoken to us and will speak again.  In a similar way, Advent does the same thing: it reminds us that in the waiting and preparation, we will come to see the fullness of God’s blessings!

Blessings in Christ!


About this Devotional Series

Advent has a twofold purpose.  Advent is the season of preparation for the celebration of God’s coming in incarnate humility at Christ’s birth.  It is also the season of anticipation of Christ soon returning in glory!  Each weekday we look at one way we can prepare ourselves to experience Christ’s presence in our lives more fully.  These preparations are more commonly known as Spiritual Disciplines.  Spiritual Disciplines are practices that make room in our lives for the Holy Spirit to produce growth in our lives.  Some of these may resonate with you, others may not.  But there are rich spiritual rewards from exercising these disciplines that will greatly enrich our celebration of Christmas and indeed our whole lives!  My prayer is that you will find blessing and inspiration in these words during this season.

Published by Tim O

I chose the Greek form of my name as the title for the blog. It means “honoring God”. That is the goal of my life and of my writing. I hope it also encourages you along the way. Thanks for joining me!

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