As I have been thinking, praying, and writing Advent reflections, I am mindful that this season will be an especially poignant time of watching and waiting. My longing for God has deepened during this unusual and challenging year; I have desperately prayed for God to give us answers, soothe our spirits, ease our cares, and solve our problems! I know many of you have done the same.
Our difficulties and our yearnings are nothing new. The Bible is filled with stories of great trial and sorrow. The Bible is filled with stories of people longing for a Messiah who would save them from their heartaches. We are not alone in our search for meaning in the mess, guidance for our steps, hope for our future. These are difficult times, but difficult times have been around since time began.
And since time began, Christ has been with us in every moment! God as Christ was – and is – in all of creation. Jesus Christ came to our world as the Word in flesh. The Spirit Christ is with us now. We have our Messiah, the presence of God in Christ for everything we need, in these times and all times to come. The Advent gifts of Christ are still waiting for us in this season, even in these unsettled times.
In this year’s Advent reflections, I pray you will be uplifted as we seek these gifts of Christ in our weekly themes:
~ Hope in the Hurt
~ Peace in the Pandemic
~ Joy in the Junk
~ Love in the Limbo
This season, may all the Advent gifts of Christ – the gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love – once again be revealed within our hurting hearts. May all the Advent gifts of Christ – these same gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love – then be shared with the hurting hearts around us. May we keep opening our hurting hearts to the incredible goodness of God in Christ Jesus; the goodness that has always been with us, continues to remain with us, and will carry us into our future days.
God bless you, dear friends, this Advent season.
(Advent will begin next Sunday, November 29th. We will use the designated passages from the Revised Common Lectionary for the four Sundays of Advent; the Gospel reading on Sunday, the Old Testament reading on Tuesday, and the reading from the New Testament Letters on Thursday.)