“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned.”
As the season of Advent begins this Sunday, the prophet Isaiah reminds us of the One who is coming, “A child is born to us, a son us given to us, and authority will be upon his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal, Prince of Peace.”
Advent is a time of waiting, expectation, and preparation. It is also a time when each one of us has the opportunity to examine our lives and our readiness to receive the Christ child into our hearts.
In many ways, we live in a pitch-dark world, a world where natural disasters, acts of extreme violence, polarization, hopelessness, and despair threaten the joy of our faith and the well-being of our planet. At the same time, Jesus beckons us to open our eyes to the needs around us and respond with glad and generous hearts by making a difference in the lives of others.
As you make your Christmas list and check it twice, I would encourage you to set aside time every day to ponder this Advent in your heart how God is calling you to live out your faith. During a month when we are tempted to succumb to the temptation to overeat, overspend, and over indulge, I invite you to specific acts of kindness in the month of December.
I hope that your congregation will observe Global Migration Sunday, either on December 3 or another Sunday in December. Learn about the plight of the 65 million displaced people in our world and how you can help. How might your life change if you matched the amount of money spent on Christmas gifts with charitable donations? Can you engage in a hands-on mission project in your community during December?
Thank you for all of the ways in which you continue to live out your call to be Christ-followers during Advent. O Come, O Come Emmanuel. God bless you.