From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 3rd Sunday of Advent

Hi everyone,

So the other night I was over at a friend’s place playing games. I don’t do this often as responsibility at home is usually my priority and I try to be home at least for bedtime for the kids. But for some reason, I might have gone a bit overboard in terms of how late I stayed out this time around. I think it’s because I haven’t seen these guys for a while, and being able to hang out again in person with them got the best of me.

At one point I realised that I hadn’t checked my phone for a while, and so I picked it up to see if I had missed any calls or messages. Sure enough, I got one from our daughter. “Are you coming back?” it starts off, which made me chuckle at how naggy it sounded. But it continued, “Because it is like midnight and I’m not saying that you have to leave but I love you and I miss you”.

I don’t know where she gets these things from, but these words from this 8-year-old almost brought tears to my eyes because they were so sweet and sincere. I didn’t expect to hear from them at all (nor did I expect them to be up still at midnight), but I certainly welcomed the message reminding me that in spite of all my shortcomings (like staying out way too late as a dad), I continue to be loved by people who really matter to me.

It was like an early Christmas miracle, really.

Here are the readings for next week:
Isaiah 35:1-10
Luke 1:46b-55 (alternate)
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

Our daughter isn’t the only one who surprises with small signs of love. These texts talk about some of the ways that God surprises us with love and reminders of who we are throughout our lives. Through the hope that we share, through the promises of redemption, and through the sense of community and service instilled in us through the life and teachings of Jesus, we are reminded of just how much we are loved.

I know we don’t always think about it, see it, or recognise it in and around our lives, so these reminders that they are there help to keep it at the forefront of our minds and soften our hearts to accept that it is true. We are indeed loved by God and God continues to provide for us in surprising and perhaps unexpected ways. Just because we don’t always feel it or acknowledge it, doesn’t make it any less true.

While Advent is the season of hope and looking forward, we can continue to look at the ways that God is with us now in the present, and how we are loved now through all that we do and all that we are… that is, children of the most high God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ the Messiah!

I mean, if John the Baptizer didn’t get it right away, I guess it’s ok that we don’t either (or forget from time to time). But what a wonderful God we have that would continually remind us when we forget, nudge us when we fall behind, and love us in spite of not usually getting it right. There is hope indeed in this promise of love and grace!

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Domingo Alvarez E on Unsplash

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