Advent Daybook, 14: Selah

My Advent daybook for these 24 days of waiting. Join me, won't you? (see previous Advent daybook 2017 posts here)

*Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.*

Exhibit photo of Makoto Fujimura's Silence and Beauty (source)

Watch video reflections from the artist here.

music for today: "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" (lyrics)

Spotify | YouTube

‘Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’”


”Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”


”Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”


”Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” ...

But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
— Haggai 2:4b-9, Psalm 32:1-5, Revelation 3:2-3 & Matthew 24:1-2, 13-14 (ESV)

* Sunday Scripture readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year B). Daily Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 2).

prayer for today:

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8, NIV

Lord our God, we come into your presence and ask you to help us. Help us in every part of our lives, even when we do not understand. Be with us with your Spirit. Guide and lead us with your hand. Let your will be done in all things, even if we must bear suffering. Your will is for good alone and you will set everything right. Help us. Bless us through your Word, through everything we are allowed to hear from you, our God and our Father. Amen.
— Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (1842–1919), via


The Hebrew word selah (see-lah) is repeated throughout today's Psalm. The definition of this word is probably a musical reference, calling for a break in the singing of the Psalm. The Amplified Bible (AMP)  adds the explanatory phrase, "pause, and calmly think of that!", each time the word Selah shows up in the Psalms. Today, take some time to be silent, without any noise or distraction, to pause and calmly think about the first two weeks of Advent. There is no need to strive for a profound insight during this time. Just be still. If you begin to sense thoughts or feelings bubbling up in the quiet, notice them without trying to analyze. You might breathe out one phrase each time you're tempted to become distracted. Try something like "O, come, Emmanuel" or even, "Selah, pause and calmly think of that". Trust God as your Heavenly Father to be present with you through Christ and by His Spirit. End your time with a simple prayer or chorus. Go about your day in peace.

(see all Advent daybook posts from 2016 here)