Advent Devotion - Day 17


December 13, 2022

Join us through this special time of Advent as we dive deeper into the Word of God. Each day, we will pray and reflect on a different passage from Scripture. Daily Readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, and reflections are written by our church staff.

Opening Prayer:

Give me ears to listen to your small, soft voice saying: “Come to me, you who are overburdened, and I will give you rest . . . for I am gentle and humble of heart.” Let that loving voice be my guide.

- Henri Nouwen

Scripture Reading:

Ezekiel 47:1-12 NIV

The River from the Temple

The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.

3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits[a] and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah,[b] where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. 9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so, where the river flows everything will live. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”


This scripture spoke to me in a new way since I have taken the trip to the Holy Land. I was very hesitant about going on this trip. I originally said "maybe" when Matthew asked me, I have never had the desire to go. One day at work, Randy came by my desk and said, "You should go to Israel." I told him I would really think and pray about it.

The first full day we were in Israel, we are sitting in the Magdala Museum and we are looking at this beautiful painting. The painting was Mary Magdalene touching Jesus’ cloak. I was just sitting in the back of the room and started crying. I could feel the Holy Spirit so strongly, and I thanked Matthew for encouraging me to go on this trip. I was glad I listened to the nudge from the Holy Spirit. I have the picture hanging in my office to remind me of that special moment in Israel.

We visited the Dead Sea and En Gedi, they were both breathtaking to take in.

The Dead Sea was so salty that no creature could live in it; we could only float in it for 15 minutes and had to be careful not to get any water in our eyes. It was beautiful. People come from all over the world to float in the Dead Sea to get healed.

En Gedi is on the western shore of the Dead Sea and is known for the “spring of the kids.” En Gedi was known in the Bible for its beauty and wilderness. It was an Oasis where it protected David as he fled from Saul. En Gedi got to see the renewal of the Dead Sea.

I find myself thinking so differently about the Bible and how it brings to life the places we went to in Israel in a whole new way. It also has helped me to have a ‘hunger’ to dive deeper into the Word.

Daily Challenge:

How can you dive deeper into the Word? How can you bring the Bible to life in a whole new way? We must listen to those small nudges from the Holy Spirit.
Today's reflection is written by:
Rachel Gillespie

Ministry Logistics Coordinator
Church of the Servant
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