Walking our Faith: When the month ahead looks like a whole lot of hurry
Walking our Faith
So, I decided I really don’t need the 50-inch TV that Walmart advertised for $148. I stopped by Walmart on Wednesday and spoke to one of the nice women in the TV department, and she assured me that they would have a dedicated line for people who wanted to buy a TV on Thanksgiving in the traditional pre-Black Friday rush. I stood there imagining what that would feel like for an introvert like me and decided that the TV I have works just fine.
I never really appreciated the purpose of Advent, the four weeks of preparation for the birth of Christ, which begins Sunday. But as the Rev. Charlie Brumbaugh explains it in the email newsletter that goes to the parishioners of Saint John’s Episcopal Church, these four weeks of are a time of quiet reflection to consider the miracle that awaits us on Christmas Day as we once again Celebrate the birth of Christ, the son of God, this infant who enters the world so unassuming, born in a manger, so innocent and vulnerable and yet who comes to save the world.
To be witness to such a miracle is not to be taken lightly and should be approached with reverence. So it is with many of God‘s ways that we are given the perfect antidote to the bright lights and mad dash for sales, the parties, the concerts, the parades, all of the excitement of the holiday season. Yet, these same celebrations can leave us feeling overwhelmed and even isolated because, in the end, there really isn’t enough to buy or eat or drink to fill our hearts with the authentic love we desperately need.
And so, God offers us an alternative to the holiday hustle. God says, come away with me. Find time each day to read the word of God, to read a message from a favorite advent devotional, but most of all to spend time quietly with God, reconnecting with the source of all love, restoring our souls.
Will you join me for the next four weeks? Let’s rediscover the hope, faith, joy and peace represented by each of the four Advent candles. Let’s explore what each of those words means in our walk of faith and let them become fresh touchstones of God’s love as we travel toward the Christmas manger and the birth of the son of God.
The first week of Advent, we consider the hope we have been given through the love of God. Hope that lifts us up, the sunlight that peaks through winter storm clouds. Hope that is more than a wish because it is anchored in love that knows no bounds.
We send our prayers to Heaven and hope that they are heard. If only we understood that the light that is reflected back to us is a love that knows us and cares for us.
For us, hope can turn on a dime. Last night, I tossed and turned and couldn’t stay asleep. Finally, I picked up my phone and started reading my Bible app. Then I began to pray. And then, the words began to flow, so I got out of bed at 5:30 a.m., went down to my computer and got to work.
When I put my hope in myself, hope will only be as strong as I am in any given moment. But when I put my hope in God, well, allow me to share one of my favorite Bible verses to explain:
“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision … ‘A son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.’ He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the sky and count the stars — if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:1, 4-6 NIV).
God asked Abram to hope in something larger than he could imagine. And to hold onto that hope despite what his circumstances told him. I believe God is telling us the same. If we base our hope on God’s perfect plan for our lives, not our own, we will be fortified for the journey and peace for our hearts.
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Walking our Faith” publishes Saturdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson is the author of 10 novels and nonfiction books on faith. She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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