Advent Meditations  

by Del Atkinson 

Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Ghost.

While a man had gone out driving to do some Christmas shopping, his wife had been watching TV when she heard the announcer say, “be very careful and watch driving on I-65 today, there is a motorist driving the wrong way”! His wife got hold of him on the cell phone to warn him, and his reply was: “No kidding, there are hundreds of them here”.

I have felt like that driver: in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, to feel like the whole world is out to get you. The holy season of Advent can be marked with darkness and often loneliness as we journey on life’s highway. …It was another winter season and once again my family was in the process of moving to a new military assignment. We were leaving the comforts of the known to venture into the unknown. As we departed, the snow began falling again, the driving conditions turned hazardous; we felt isolated and at times terrified. The white-out conditions finally forced us off the highway to seek shelter only a couple of hours into the day. With our original plans discarded, we had to find an “inn” that had room. It would take two more days of driving through bad weather, stopping at night and repeating the process of finding shelter to arrive at our destination. As the Hebrew exiles from Egypt must have felt, we travelled; “by faith to the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise.” (Hebrews 11:9) More than the military orders in my pocket motivated us to keep going. While we did not know what the future held, we found comfort. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Though not nearly forty years, our four day trip culminated in sunny and mild Alabama at which time my wife proclaimed “this is the Promise Land”.

So it is that during the Advent Season, we are all travelling somewhere, seeking that answers and peace. For some it is battling with known problems that has created the darkness. For others, it is fear of the future that steals our joy. And loneliness for those who have lost loved ones pulls at our heart strings. In this season of Advent we must learn to trust that God is with us even in the darkness. As we sit in the stillness with our sin and suffering, something marvelous happens: we begin to recognize that we are not alone. We hear God’s words of love and assurance and realize God has been present with us all along, even in the lonely times. With the birth of Jesus the Christ child, our hope is renewed. The prophet Isaiah proclaimed: “ But now says the Lord that created you, O Jacob, and He that formed you, O Israel, fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name; you are mine. …Since you were precious in my sight, you have been honorable, and I have loved you”.

Celebrate the Holy Advent season in confidence that you are not alone. God provided the prescription for dealing with life’s journey in His precious son. Share the Good News.  

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