Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Monday, December 19

By Jane Gulley

My New Meditation App: The Gospel of Matthew

Read: Matthew 11:28-29 NKJV

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Christmas is coming. Are you excited? Or anxious? I admit the season can make me nuts. Ask me about my spreadsheets.

Christmas is literally EXTRA. Our faith tells us to give to the needy, comfort the lonely, and repair family bonds. Our culture tells us to decorate competitively, entertain lavishly, and document the whole thing on social media. Not calming. 

To fix my bad attitude, I re-read the Christmas story in all four Gospels. Shocker: it’s not in Mark or John. In those gospels, the adult Jesus is baptized by John and jumps right into ministry. (I’m calling these the “hustle and grind” Gospels). Luke is the one you know best. It’s got those tent pole moments: Angels! Shepherds! Kings!

But for life wisdom, I like the Gospel of Matthew. The birth of Jesus is low on razzle-dazzle and moves quickly to the Holy Family’s persecution by Herod. But stay tuned! The rest of Matthew includes the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus healing the sick, and many teachings I found newly relevant. Health, relationships, finances—Our Lord covers it all. One of my favorite soothers for a worried mind is the above scripture reference of Matthew 11:28-29.

In the hustle of December, consider putting a Bible in your car or adding an app such as Bible Gateway* to your phone. And in the spirit of the season, I wish you … Peace. 


Dear Lord, give me strength and wisdom for living my days, with appreciation for the gift of Jesus in showing us how to live. Amen.

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*Bible Gateway, a free app, was recommended to me by Church Streeter Thomas Stubbs, now a UMC clergy member serving a church in CT.