One Day at a Time (Advent) - Monday, December 11

advent devotions 2017 lutheran indian ministries

One Day at a Time - Monday, December 11

"Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates
we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that
the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night."
1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 (NIV)

“Well, I just take it one day at a time, you know me.”

This was a comment by one of my Native brothers recently, and, although it is brief, it says a lot.

Almost every non-Native has noticed the different conception of time between the indigenous and the dominant cultures. There are nicknames, like “Navajo-time,” that can be either lighthearted or express a sense of frustration that the Western-time orientation hasn’t taken root. Cultural-time orientations are neither spoken for nor against in the Scriptures, but there is something we can all learn about taking life one day at a time.

Now, 2,000 years removed from when St. Paul wrote his letter to the Thessalonian Christians, we might wonder if, in fact, the Lord’s return is still imminent. Is Jesus still just about to come? Most Christians avoid this topic in 2017, but the fact is, Scripture testifies to Christ’s imminent return.

So, either we walk by faith or by sight. While we thankfully and joyfully celebrate Jesus’ first coming this Advent season, we await with great expectation His return. With eyes of faith, we see that it could be tomorrow or it could be another 2,000 years from now. We simply don’t know, and, therefore, we take it one day at a time.

We all know how distracted we can become either by an anxious spirit concerning the future or wallowing in nostalgia or regret from the past. I’ve heard people ask the hypothetical question, “What would you do if you knew today was your last day on earth?” The point is for us to prioritize our deeds in alignment with our values. Paul’s point is to ask ourselves that very question every day. The knowledge that Jesus may come at any time helps us to live in the Spirit and to live in the moment.

Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, I thank You that You came to earth to be with us and that You are coming again. Give me the eyes of faith that I would be prepared at any time for Your coming and be about the work of Your kingdom at all times. Amen.

Rev. Tim Norton
Navajo, New Mexico