“In the Advent season, there is always a lot of movement, a lot of “hustle
and bustle,” with people traveling to see loved ones, shoppers going out to
the stores, revelers heading for the latest holiday party, concert or event.
But one movement needs to be remembered above all others:
our movement toward the manger, where the Christ Child is born.
He is the reason we are celebrating after all, and he is the only one
who can move us out of darkness and sin and into the bright light
of God’s glory, forgiveness and salvation. When the shepherds moved
toward the manger, they ran, and we can, too, spiritually speaking:
going as fast as we can to Scripture each day of this Advent season,
to read and reflect and ponder upon the Word encircled in straw
for our eternal benefit. May these devotions nudge you
ever closer to that amazing miracle.”
These are the opening words of our Advent devotional by Martin Marty (you can pick one up outside the church office!).
Advent is a time of hustle and bustle. For me personally, I’m hustling against a February deadline to find a new home for our outpost preschool, Trinity Lane. It would be such a loss to our ministry and to the community to see that vital program disappear. They touch the lives of some of our most at-risk children here in Cedar Rapids. What if we can’t find a home for them?
I’m bustling to get more information to our architects who are working on renovation plans for our Sanctuary and Narthex. What if there is no more money for this project? What if all this work of 5 years of planning and analysis comes to nothing?
Our Bishops are hustling to meet a deadline in 2018 to show us a way forward as a denomination through differences in opinion about human sexuality. What if our United Methodist Church splits? How will congregations and conferences decide which way to go?
Each of us has a list of hustle and bustle that fuels a darkness of doubt and desperation, but Martin Marty is right: “Christ is the only one who can move us out of darkness and sin and into the bright light of God’s Glory, forgiveness and salvation.” I give thanks for this wonderful season of light, for each day reminds me of God’s promises fulfilled. What may be impossible to me, what may be impossible to us, is not impossible with God. Christ is my hope for dark and unpredictable times.
May this busy season find you drinking deeply of the hope that Christ’s true light shines still.
Grace & Peace,