Week 3 of Advent | Guy Chmieleski
Monday, December 17
It is getting close by now, so much so that you can almost feel it in the air. Christmas—the coming of Christ.
It is a “season” that starts just as soon as we finish cleaning up our Thanksgiving feast, but is too often foiled by the chaos and distraction of finishing up the year, finding just the right gifts, and eventually traveling to our holiday destination.
If you are anything like me, it is often not until a day or two before Christmas itself that my heart and mind are finally in a peaceful enough state that the powerful truth of Immanuel—God with us—truly can begin to seep into my conscious reality.
And that is the beauty of the Christmas season, isn’t it? God seems to press into the world a bit more noticeably, or maybe it is just that we’re paying better attention, and all that is chaos begins to settle.
God seems more real. Priorities seem clearer. We find ourselves with a small window in time in which we can reorder our lives to reflect these things.
Today’s scripture passages remind us that these challenges are not new to our time.
Struggle, strife, chaos, and distraction—they have all been around since Adam’s original sin in the garden. We have a cunning Adversary who knows how to use these elements to create a wedge between God and us.
He knows the challenges we have to be faithful in the midst of suffering. He knows how easily things that we do not have control over, or that do not really matter much can consume our attention.
Yet we have reason to hope. We have reason to believe that the God who created this world in which we live, and who came to dwell in our midst, is still up to something magnificent—even if we cannot see it, or sense it.
In this season of Advent, this season of anticipation, I am challenged to consider how to stretch this season, and the peaceful hope that it embodies, into a way of living that will not change with the flipping of the calendar page. I am challenged to consider how God truly desires for us to live.
I think peace and hope, or a peace-filled hope, is meant to mark the lives of all who believe in Christ, and the miracle of Christmas—all year long.
To download a digital copy of the 2012 Advent Guide, put out by Belmont’s School of Religion, click here.