As Advent approaches, I’ve spent some time reflecting on and preparing for this special time of year. I don’t know about you, but if I’m not careful, the whole Christmas season can blow past me in a flash. And I don’t want this year to feel like that. No, I want to intentionally pursue peace – choosing to trust that the Holy Spirit is with me as I turn toward the manger.
Sunday night, we hosted our annual Advent Missions Night. We served the students of the Wesley House by wrapping gifts, delivered Christmas goodies to our downtown fire station, and packed hygiene kits for the Beacon of Hope. I couldn’t help but smile watching it all unfold – there was such a buzz in the air as we prepared to do God’s work in and for our own city.
Something I find so meaningful about mission work this time of year, is the clear reminder of what we are called to do and who we are called to be. We are supposed to do the work of the church and to be the body of Christ in action. And I want to be clear – no amount of mission projects or community outreach can earn us grace. But the grace we have been given so freely spurs us on to action, encouraging us to love others the way Christ loves each and every one of us.
If you’re feeling a little worn this season, Jesus reminds us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:28).
If you’re feeling alone, remember that God has given us the Helper, His Holy Spirit, to be present with us always (John 14:26).
If peace feels fleeting, remember that our faith gives us hope, and hope will never put us to shame (Romans 5:1-5).
This Sunday, we start the road to Bethlehem, preparing the way for the Christ child to come. My prayer for all of us this season, is that we make room in our hearts for Him above all else.