Presbytery of the Midwest

Devotions: Advent

Dear friends in the Midwest Presbytery,

I am praying for you as we approach the last days before Christmas. You are surely busy with Advent
messages, Christmas presentations and preparations for celebrating Christ’s birthday as a family. May
God give you the sufficient grace he has promised to manage all these joyous, yet tiring opportunities.

You have all been faithful friends and gracious presbyters over the past five years. You have enabled me
to enjoy my tenure as Stated Clerk. For this I want to thank you all very much. I have visited many of you
in your churches, whether for presbytery meetings, for filling the pulpit or simply sitting with you in
worship. I hope to keep visiting you as opportunities arise.

Now I am excited to entrust you to the care of Pete Scribner, our new Stated Clerk. Pete is well
prepared by background, temperament and skill set. He has “shadowed” Andy and me for the past
several months and is more than ready to lead and pastor the Midwest Presbytery flock of God. I am
confident that he will guide you well with the expert support of our skillful and tireless Assistant Clerk,
Andy Warner.

As a Christmas gift, I would like to share with you a Devotional Guide which I wrote this fall. It is based
on the Book of James and is entitled, “James: A Manual for Christian Maturity.” As I send these, I want
to warn you about the contents of James’ letter. I found it to be a surprisingly difficult letter. Not that
the words of James are hard to understand. Quite the opposite! They are clear and direct and

I found that the letter exposed my sins easily hidden beneath the veneer of spirituality. Sins of speech,
attitude and actions. Sins of partiality, pride, presumptuousness. Sins of worldliness and prayerlessness.

In light of that, I kept coming back to Jame’s early appeal again and again: “If any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” That’s becoming
my recurring prayer as I end the year. Beyond that, I am praying more often for others who are
suffering, sick, sinful and straying. James tells us that “the prayers of a righteous person has great power
as it is working.” (James 5:16) By God’s grace I endeavor to be such a man.

May God continue to lead each of you further into Christian maturity. If these devotions assist you in
some small way, I would be delighted to know that.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine to upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Yours in Christ,

David Brown

Uniting Midwest Churches to the Global Movement of the EPC
3453 Lakewood Shores Dr, Howell, MI 48843