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Advent Devotional #1: Slow Down & Enjoy the Season

We started 2 races this weekend, both with Christmas as the finish line. Black Friday started the first race with its focus on “getting.” Getting gifts and trees and getting lights hung wherever you please. Getting ready for parties and holiday themes, even getting food ready to share, until our clothes bust out of their seams. We are tempted to hurry, hurry, and hurry some more, until we are sure we have bought out the store. At the end of this race, we hope to find joy, but, by then, we might be too tired to really enjoy.

This 1st Sunday of Advent is the start of our second race, but its less about “getting” and more about “giving.” Not so much the giving of things, but the giving of time, and attention, to the opportunities this race brings.

Unlike that other race, Advent invites us to slow down and consider the real reason for the season, and our connections to the One born the Prince of Peace. In this race we give time to consider both the beginning of the story of the One born in Bethlehem’s stable, and the coming again of the resurrected One who promises to be with us until the end of time, and beyond. Advent invites us to rest, and to be quiet, even as time flies by and the sounds of the Black Friday race swirl around us. The big question is, can we give ourselves permission to slow down enough to “run” the most peaceful of the two races, or will the pace of that other race tire us so much that we can’t figure out how to slow down? Can we give ourselves over to being messengers of peace on earth and goodwill to others, as we run alongside them for the next 4 weeks? Pass it on.


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