Advent Devotions 2017
December 10, 2017
Where do you find peace this season?
The concept of me writing an Advent devotion for others to use seemed crazy. It is no surprise to anyone in my house that there are times I would be perfectly fine skipping the month of December, but that idea made me pause and wonder why. What is it about this season that makes me want to move on as quickly as possible? Do I enjoy Advent?
It isn’t that I do not like the meaning of the season. It isn’t that I do not want to celebrate with family and friends. I believe I have a tremendous amount of HOPE for our future. I do not always wear it on my sleeve, but the JOY I experience when sharing with others during the season is refreshing. The LOVE I receive from others and seen shown to others is also incredible. I think I have found the issue … I struggle with finding PEACE during this season. I am all too happy to skip to “normal life” and leave the unjustified, unwarranted, and unpleasant stress of the season behind. Without peace, having hope, experiencing joy, and finding love are more difficult.
Advent is a time of preparation for Christians. We are preparing for the coming of our Loving Lord. Unfortunately, we get caught up in other preparations as well, and I think that is where my struggles originate. We spend a tremendous amount energy preparing our homes with decorations, our Christmas cards to show how exciting the past year has been, our wish lists so others can know what we want (not need), our spreadsheet to make sure we are buying gifts for everyone equitably, our company parties to thank our employees, our coworkers task lists so we can take time off, our meal plans for large family dinners, our escape plans for family get-togethers, our invitation list for holiday parties, along with everything else we were already doing on a daily basis.
So where is the peace? We find in the lectionary 2 Peter 3:14-15a Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. In your preparations for the season, have you found time to simply “wait for these things”? Finding the time to wait is where I believe that I am able to find peace. It is important for me to remember in all the hustle that we are called to wait. The list above are all stressors that we and the world put on us. The world will still move on if we do not get our Christmas cards out, if we simply buy one present for each family member, or if we don’t host that party.
Let us all take time this to Advent season to make ourselves wait. May we find enjoyment in setting aside time to let the world move on around us while we find internal peace. It could be cuddling with a child, reading a book, taking a nap, or going for a run – it really is up to you. Peace be with you.
Written by Buddy Sumner
Art by Kenton