And here is my colleague, Jodi’s commentary for the first Sunday of Advent

Heart of My Heart

Advent Devotional Commentary
Jesus Beloved Son by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Luke 21:34  Sunday Day One

Usually I do not comment on the Sunday devotional.  But this being the first devotional of this series,…  Actually,  The first sentence of the devotional jumped out at me.  “Jesus has to be and to become evermore the center of my life.”  I can’t get past this.  I know I keep crowding that spot with me and my stuff.    Whenever I want someone to change their perspective I have them draw out their circles of influence and circles of concerns.  When you are done the center circle contains you.  How would that picture change if Jesus was at the center of our life picture?  Where would I go?  Would I surround Jesus?  But doesn’t Jesus surround me?   ARGHHHHHH!!

The difficult reality that scares me is:  The I that is me must fade away so that “the thousands of people, events, ideas and plans that occupy my inner life must become all one in the one and only name:Jesus.”  This scares me because it  screams the loss of identity.  Perhaps, it is when I lose myself in Jesus that the true Jodi comes to life.  There is that scripture that says in order to gain my life I must lose my life. (Matthew 16:25)

Indeed, and in deed, we are to find our sacred center.  We are called on our disciple walk to entrust God with everything not because God will provide us with everything but because God first gave us everything.  Besides I have this (not funny) joke that goes, “If you acquire everything where will you store it?” It is scary to give all of ourselves to the cause of Christ.  What a deep and intimate relationship is called for with Jesus as the heart of our heart, fire of our life, lover of our soul, our only concern, our only desire.  One would not understand the true cost of this commitment if we were not scared.  Yet, this is the only commitment that is guaranteed not to disappoint.


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