DEVOTION: Celebrating Love Not Always Easy

Updated 7 years ago by Beth Bondurant
We begin preparation for our celebration of "LOVE" as the "reason for the season" of Christmas.

  Weathering the storms of day to day challenges in preparation for a memorable holiday can take its toll.
Celebrating LOVE isn't always easy in the chemo lab; funeral home; Alzheimer unit, regional jail and many other places that hurt our hearts and cloud our hope.
Even departments stores, planned events and  festive gatherings can bring great stress and stain on our patience and peace at this anticipated season of joy and gladness.
Be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it’s going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man.”
As we "follow the star" to the manger scene,  we find ourselves, as did those long ago Biblical participants, kneeling in awe. 
O God, we do fall on our knees especially when our hope seems dashed. It can happen so quickly. What we thought would be... isn't.  What we plan to do...can't.  What we hear will happen ... doesn't.  Nothing seems the way it should be and we find ourselves wondering why.

Teach us how to be strong when we are weakened by life's struggles and strife.  We want to be strong like Mary and Joseph and those who seem to accept their "calling" without question and in simple faith.  As we consider the "story of Christmas", invigorate our minds and hearts with the light of your wisdom.  Fortify our faith with hope and healing.  Come, Holy One, and walk with us as we travel the road to Bethlehem and seek this first Sunday of Advent-the Hope of the World.