Monday, November 30, 2015

Advent Reflections - November 29

Hope


"Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,
   “Clear the way through the wilderness
      for the Lord!
   Make a straight highway through the wasteland
      for our God!”

Isaiah 40:3


Reflection

If you’re like most people, the Christmas marketing onslaught has already begun. Practically from the moment that the last Trick or Treater beckoned at our doorsteps, we seem to be inundated with an onslaught of advertising and commercialism that can cause the person of strongest resolve to submit to the temptation of over consumption. It’s then that we realize that our journey to Christmas has been a hectic blur through a wilderness of activity, shopping, spending and stress that leaves us exhausted and unfulfilled. We take a deep breath, finally uttering that familiar phrase, “Where did the holidays go?” We may have hoped for peace, but in reality, we received very little.  

We blink our eyes a few times, take a couple of deep breaths and just like that, the sun has set on yet another Christmas Day. It’s at that moment that we realize that our path to Christmas has been a chaotic journey through a wilderness of activity, shopping, spending and stress that leaves us exhausted and unfulfilled. We pause to catch our breath, finally uttering that familiar phrase, “Where did the holidays go?” We may have hoped for much, but in reality, we received very little.


In the quiet of this moment, as the rest of the world may seem to be rushing towards Christmas at full speed, let us commit ourselves to slow down. Focus on hope. What do you hope for this Christmas? Despite the things that need to be done and the places that we may need to go, let us allow ourselves to slow our pace. Let us find hope. In the recess of our souls, let us imagine ourselves moving into the slow lane of seasonal traffic. See the road ahead of you. It’s clear and straight. The voice of God calls to us, far beyond the distractions saying, “Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!”

Prayer

God, in the stillness of this moment, grant peace to us in our minds, bodies and souls. Let us feel the pace of life slow down, despite the rush of the Christmas Season. As we focus on you and you alone, help us to keep the hope of your Son alive in our hearts and let it shine forth for all to see.

Amen