Friday, December 2, 2016

Advent Reflections - December 2

Hope 

"He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.”

Micah 5:4



Reflection

Looking back many years ago, one particular day of last minute Christmas shopping stands out in my memory. Realizing that I had one last gift to purchase, and that the only place to find that gift was the mall, I reluctantly made the journey to the very last place that you want to find yourself just a few days before Christmas. After spending at least 20 minutes searching for a parking spot, I entered the bastion of holiday consumerism. It was crowded, loud and although surrounded by many people, I felt utterly alone. As my blood pressure began to rise and patience wore thin, I felt as if I was being herded from one place to another. Looking around at the blank empty faces, aimlessly bumping into one another and wandering about, I became quite certain why God refers to human beings as sheep.

I'm guessing that you’ve found yourself in one of these places of frustration and stress. Perhaps you feel consumed by the seemingly endless inundation of activity that surrounds this season. At every turn, it seems that there is something else to buy, something more that needs to be done or somewhere else to go. Do you feel yourself just wanting to scream, “Stop!  Enough already!”?  

This is why Advent is such a significant and essential time of year. It’s the one time of each day that we can turn our focus away from things that don’t really matter, and concentrate our minds on what is truly important. 

In the quite of this moment, rest and focus on the true reason that we celebrate Advent. For it is only in God's presence that we find our peace. It is in his greatness that we find our contentment. It is in his love that we find comfort. And it is in his promises that we find our hope. 

Prayer

God, in the midst of the sometimes hectic pace of life, may we find rest. In the schedules that we find ourselves bound to, may we find peace. In the “stuff” of the Season, may we find you. Thank you for fulfilling the hope we have in you and in your promise through your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen