Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Monday, December 13
By Doug Mason
Read John 13:34
“A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Agreed. I, too, cannot recall associating this scripture with Advent; but, what if…? What if this year we approach Advent more like we approach Lent, as a season of reflection and sacrifice? What if during Advent we spend less time anguishing over the hustle and bustle of holiday schedules, tree trimmings, mindless shopping, gift exchanges, and the pure lack of enough hours in a day, and instead we focus on just one thing? What if we begin each day of Advent reminding ourselves of God’s love for the world and Christ’s command to love one another, and then focus our every thought and deed in the hours dawning before us on doing just that?
The pandemic has frayed everyone’s sense of well-being and negatively impacted everyone’s daily life in one way or another. We all are battle worn and exhausted. Tempers flare and tongues scorch. Life is hard. The future and better times seem forever away. If ever there was a time to love one another, surely this is such a time.
What if, after a season of focusing on how to better love one another, we rediscover on that glorious Christmas morning that we ourselves have been gifted with God’s love? Might our souls be revived? Might our hearts be warmed with the fellowship of family and friends? Might we then once again experience joy in the world? Like the shepherds, might we hear the angel with the multitudes proclaiming “peace on earth and good will towards men”?
O Lord, in the birth of the Christ child you gifted the world with your love. Calm my angst, steady my soul, and open my heart so that I may love others just as you have loved me. Amen.