[#pictureAdvent] December 2: GUIDE

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By Clarke Campbell-Evans
Director, Missional Engagement of the Florida Conference, UMC
Tampa, Florida

First, read Psalm 25:5

I have climbed a lot of mountains in my life.  Most of those hikes have taken me to the top of mountains along the eastern seaboard:  the Appalachians, the Adirondacks, the Catskills.  But once I climbed a mountain in the middle of the sand-strewn desert of Northern Chile while visiting with United Methodist missionaries, Stan and Beryl Moore who were serving in Iquique, Chile.  

Different from the white and blue blazes that would guide my way along well-worn trails in the Eastern United States, the trail we followed was only possible by the memory of our Quechuan guide who had been walking over these sandy mountains all of his life.  We were headed to an oasis by a river running through this dry land that was located in the Elqui Valley, a beautiful, lush-green stripe running through the arid wasteland.  

Our Native American guide spoke broken Spanish but with his eyes, the nod of his head, the outstretched fingers and a few words, he pointed the way across the sun-burned landscape to the cool river and the refreshing shade.

Like pilgrims waiting for guidance from the Divine, in this season of Advent, we wait to see which way the eyes of the Incarnate One are looking, which way His head is nodding, His words are pointing to teach us the path of His truth.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

1) Where are the dry and arid places in your life this year through which you need a word of truth to guide you?

2) Even when there is no obvious blessing or provision, as you walk through this dry and arid desert, what can God teach you that will help you on your journey?

3) What guiding phrase or verse from Jesus’ words would you like to carry through this season until we celebrate His birth?  Can you illustrate these words with a picture to share?