Advent Devotions 2017
Day Fourteen
December 16, 2017

Learning to Walk in Joy

When Ella was first learning how to walk, I told Daniel that one of my favorite sounds was hearing her toddle through the house. Can you remember the sounds when a child first starts to walk? In the beginning it’s a slow and uneven step that requires concentration and determination. With practice, those slow steps give way to the sound of the pitter-patter of little feet; a sound that brings me such joy.

A few weeks ago, I heard the pitter-patter of little feet at the Lakewood retirement community. A group of River Road Church children ranging from age 1 through the fifth grade (along with their moms and dads) brought one of the greatest gifts that can be given at any time of the year. Enjoying time spent together having a snack and making arts and crafts, the children gave the gift of themselves; they gave the gift of their time, and they brought joy to the residents of Lakewood.

Just like Ella learning how to walk, the children’s steps were tentative and slow at first, uncertain of how to interact and engage with the residents. But soon, through the simple task of coloring, the children were interacting and talking with senior adults they had never met before. On this Saturday morning, we didn’t build a home for a person in need, but we built relationships. We didn’t prepare meals for the needy, but we ate snacks together. I watched as a toddler climbed into the arms of a senior adult who was no doubt fondly reminiscing about her own granddaughters. I watched as a group of fourth and fifth grade girls gathered together, not to socialize but to plan what songs they should sing to the residents. The children’s tentative steps into mission work became steps of purpose, steps of compassion, steps that brought joy.

This Advent season, I hope that you too will find joy in hearing the pitter-patter of little feet at River Road Church. As the children come forward for children’s church, as you listen to their feet walking along the slate of our sanctuary floor, may you joyfully look ahead to what the future holds for River Road Church. Listen to the sound of the children’s feet as they move about and participate in the Christmas Eve service, and give thanks for their worship. Take time to contemplate how you might take a small step toward living out God’s calling in your life. The first step is the most difficult, but soon—with the help and encouragement of your church—you will be moving with purpose.

During this hurried season, may you find time to walk slowly and deliberately toward Christmas and find incredible joy in this Advent journey.

Written by Andrea Glaze
Art by Eva