There is almost too much going on with all the Advent devotions and practices that seem to take a back seat to shopping and preparing for the gift giving traditions of Christmas. After all, Black Friday starts on Thanksgiving in the retail stores and has already started online.
Still, we feel emotionally charged by our faith practices and try to keep the secular practices at bay. We are an optimistic people!
In the midst of all the joy and happiness, and busy-ness this time of year, I have been reminded of those who have lost loved-ones this year and in the past. Significant events that are shared by family members over and over, year after year, can become depressed at the thought of experiencing this wonderful time of year without their loved one(s). Oh, how the heart aches for the ones we love.
Perhaps a loved one is traveling, or sick with a physical or mental illness that has incapacitated them or alienated them from the family. Perhaps there may even be a family member who is incarcerated and feels isolated, helpless, embarrassed, or rejected. Perhaps one has gone down a path that doesn’t meet our approval.
In the midst of all our preparation and celebration let us turn to the one who gives life through the sacrifice of love. Dear Jesus, help me to remember that my life is because of you and is for you. Help me see people the way you see them and offer myself to them. Allow me to reserve judgement on those with whom I disagree and offer empathy to those who suffer. Let me be your loving presence through the love I offer and share to all those around me and in my life. For it is in giving that I shall receive. Please remind me that there is but one King, and it’s not me!