Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Advent Prayer, Day 11: Hard Truths

By Claudia Mair Burney

Wednesday, the second week of Advent

“When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to
the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ Luke 4:16-19


What a curiosity Jesus must have been. His graceful speech amazed his astute audience. “Isn’t that Joseph’s son, the carpenter?” they asked. At first. But as Jesus continued his prophetic proclamations, searing his listener’s ears with the hard truth about themselves, and who he was, their surprise turned to rage. Not only did they run him out of the synagogue, they tried to drive him off a cliff. Talk about a prophet not being accepted in his own hometown!

Wise and holy God,

Everything Jesus said in the synagogue that day was the truth, but his hearers still rejected him. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to face the facts about myself. I’m tempted to reject those who care enough to tell me when I’m wrong. Advent is a season of repentance. As I watch and wait for the arrival of Christ in fresh ways in my life, please help me recognize and receive those you send to correct me. And more than that, good Father, help me to remember that when you chastise me out of your great love, you’re only doing so to release me from captivity, open my eyes to my blind spots, and free me from oppression. These are all good news, and I thank you that Jesus is exactly who he said he is.

“Come, Lord Jesus.”

  • Kenny

    Ms. Burney, thank you for sharing your thoughts about advent with the world. Christ has arrived in my my life. As Jesus always will be.

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