Advent Devotional - Day 13

Friday, December 11
Ephesians 2:11-15, 4:1-3, 4:29-32

This Christmas season undoubtedly looks different. At a time that is usually marked by holiday parties, rushed shopping and a general atmosphere of hurriedness, we are instead sheltering in place.

Earlier this fall I felt a sense of dread for what Christmas might look like this year. I feared the loneliness of experiencing the holiday without my parents and extended family. I worried that the magic of Christmas would be lost without being able to worship together on Christmas Eve.

As we were putting up our Christmas tree [#TeamAfterHalloween], my perspective started to radically shift. The anxiety I had about experiencing this season in quarantine was replaced with a sense of peace. With the holiday parties that tend to crowd my December calendar out of the way, Andrew and I could spend the season in our jingle jammies creating new holiday traditions for our nascent family. With fewer gifts to buy, we can redirect our spending toward causes we care about like clean water in Mozambique. God has helped me to reframe a season that – just a month ago – felt like a quickly-approaching dark rain cloud into a season of great peace and connection with my partner.

As you mourn the loss of cherished holiday traditions, I challenge you to seek connectedness in new ways. In Ephesians 4:2-3 we’re called to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Cultivate peace, seek joy and experience the love of God that surrounds us.

Reflection by Judith Rowland

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