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Advent Devotional 11/30/16

November 30, 2016, Lea McCracken
Scripture: Matthew 19:21-22
I have two young daughters who enjoy wearing their hair long. Of course, if you know me, I fail to empathize since my hair has been short most of my adult years. So anytime I suggest that they get their hair cut—even trimmed—I am met with extreme resistance. I am constantly having to remind them that long hair grows best when it gets trimmed on occasion. Yet the concept of having to cut in order to grow is a difficult lesson for a child (and an adult).
Jesus provides a parable in Matthew’s gospel that echoes this lesson. The “rich young man” has followed all of the commandments in an effort to inherit eternal life. But Jesus says that’s not good enough—you must sell your possessions and give your money to the poor. Cut in order to grow. In our days of instant gratification, most of us would go away grieving as well.
In this Advent season, I invite you to consider what possessions you have which stand between you and the holy. For some, these will be physical objects; yet others of us are holding on to emotional “possessions” which hinder us. But Advent invites us to consider the beauty of what comes next, and is the perfect season for us to declutter our lives and wait for renewal.
Prayer: Holy One, be near to us in this Advent season, holding our hands through this journey of waiting and preparation. Help us reduce the clutter from our lives so that we can draw closer to you and receive renewal in the birth of Christ Jesus. Amen.


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