Good morning! Our advent devotional for today comes to us from Timeka Gordon. Timeka serves as the Director of the Intercultural Center where she oversees the work of Student Identity & Engagement as well as the Community Scholars program. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Timeka for quite some time and have always appreciated her deep and passionate commitment to her faith. I hope her words will be a blessing to you today and prompt you to find JOY as we begin finals week.
I would also like to remind you that tonight is our annual Carols by Candlelight service in Robert Carr Chapel at 7:00pm. I hope you will join us as we sing familiar carols, read the story of Jesus’ birth, and see & hear incredible performances by some of our talented student groups. I also hope you’ll stick around for some cookies, hot chocolate, and a special bonus performance immediately following the service outside the chapel. I hope to see you there!
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
This passage of scripture reminds me that God never leaves us in times of challenges, uncertainties, and sadness, because His children are covered in His grace and mercy. During the pandemic and racial unrest in our country, I found myself becoming a “doubting Thomas”, wondering how can God allow such things to happen to His people.
We all struggle with questions. My faith was being tested and I had to be intentional in reconnecting to God and my faith. Daily scripture readings and devoted quiet time with God, became my anchors through it all. I had to remember how good God has been to me and those I love in the past, present, and know that He would continue to love, guide, and strengthen me in the future. It’s this knowing of God’s character that brought my joy back and strengthened my faith.
Let us pray.
Father God, in times of “what ifs” and fear of the unknown, we are so grateful for the privilege of bringing these concerns to You in prayer. We ask that you enter into the depths of our worries, and bring comfort, relief, and resilience to us. The Apostle Paul encouraged us to “glory also in tribulation”, because from it comes patience and hope. We pray that You capture our spirit and tightly weave in joy, so it is bounded by grace and can never escape. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.