Scripture: Romans 15:7-13
Key Verse: 13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Reflection: As we move in the season of Advent this weekend, we have an opportunity to reflect on who and what we worship. This may be difficult as we are bombarded with ads to buy, buy, buy. A fantasy world, where wishes come true and Santa visits every home, will be offered to us across the airways and throughout shopping malls and stores. We will be distracted by parties, gift buying, decorating and all the holiday traditions we observe and enjoy. All of the emotions of Christmas’ past will rise to the surface and either fill us with joy or dread. It’s an emotional time. But, there is an alternative path we can follow that will assure a peaceful, calm and bright Christmas. We can focus on hope. Not wishful thinking, but the powerful hope that Jesus offers.
We are part of something greater during this season than we can imagine. The Apostle Paul invites us to remember our faith in a particular way – to welcome one another the same way that Christ has welcomed us. This may be harder than we think. Every day we make judgments about who is in and who is out. Too often, we decide who God loves and who God hates but, we are called to live in harmony, not judgment. The community of the church is reminded that Christ is the servant of all and we are to follow his example. We are called to serve others, not ourselves – at least some of the time. We are invited to see the bigger picture. Jesus’ message of good news is for all people. Let’s keep this news in front of us as we plunge headlong into the Advent/Christmas season. Abound in hope that you might experience the power of the Holy Spirit!
Prayer: God of hope, be with us during Advent. Help us to use this time to draw closer to you and pay attention to your teachings. May we love the unlovable, reach out to the stranger, forgive a family member or friend, so that the hope of you love would shine more brightly in our lives than any Christmas decoration. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].