Every day Advent

Violence. Hate. Anger. Injustice.

From the election to our streets, these themes seem to prevail.

Recently, I’ve been asked by people – What can I do? I feel a burden that there is so much wrong in the world, and that I need to do something. Protest? Start a campaign? Shelter my kids away from the world in my house?

My response to them is this, “There may be something that God is calling you to do specifically to show the love of God through these times.  The challenge is you need to wait to hear the voice of the Shepherd leading you.”

“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of contemporary violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activity neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.” – Thomas Merton

When we are constantly reacting to what is wounding us and our world, then we just intensify the reactive chaos. We stop listening to truly understand another. We stop loving. We stay in constant self-protective mode.

The holidays have come and gone, as has the season of Advent leading up to them. Advent is such a beautiful time, because we have to wait in eager anticipation for Jesus’ birth to happen once again – on the church’s stage and hopefully in our hearts.

Advent is a symbol of waiting. And waiting means stilling our voices, bringing down our self-protective walls, and allowing the love of our Savior to be birthed in us.

Our Savior was for peace not violence, love not hate, joy not anger.

In this new year, let’s practice the concept of Advent and be quiet, listen more, love those we don’t understand, and wait for our Shepherd to enter our hearts, so we can do the work He has called us to do in this broken world.

And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8

Photo credit to Sonja Langford / Unsplash.com

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