Saturday, November 28, 2020

Advent 2020 Provides Necessary Reset

A December a few years ago, my retreat director said to me, "Maybe this year, instead of going to Bethlehem, you need to meet Jesus at Bethany with Mary and Martha, at the tomb of Lazarus, their beloved brother and friend." It had been a year in which we experienced significant losses. Joy was unattainable and unsustainable. Thanks to the words of my guide and God’s help, I found the wisdom I needed. 

In December 2020, there seems an even wider gulf between the season's theme of joy and the troubles of the world. It will be difficult for me to receive a message of joy. In many a devotional guide, the third Sunday of Advent season provides a refocus. We are given a break, a chance to catch our breath. For me, that reset works for the whole of December, especially this year!

Listen to the invitation to weary souls in a verse from “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” by Edmund Sears:

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load, whose forms are bending low, 
who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow, 
look now! For glad and golden hours some swiftly on the wing. 
O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing.

If words of joy are difficult to hear, try giving yourself - and others- a break. Everyone is doing the best they can. For a day, step away from trying to solve other people's problems. God's gift of “pure, unbounded” love is for one and all. Joy, too, is God’s gift to give- the fruit of being a beloved child of God.  And don't forget to pray for yourself.  

The reset of our spirit rests in God's faithful love and mercy, where the presence of  Jesus meets us on the road we travel.  

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