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Advent Devotional 12/16/16

December 16, 2016, Michael McCluskey
Scripture: Ephesians 4:2
This is the season when most people take a resolution to do something better in their life. Whether it is to spend more time with family, to exercise more, or to work harder for a promotion, most people resolve to do something better in this season. Growing up, I remember sitting on the couch next to my Grandad and watching Scrooge with him on Christmas Eve. I remember how the old man was mean and held no regard for other people. (Scrooge, not my Grandad.) As the story progressed, however, I would grow to understand Scrooge’s circumstances and how they influenced his becoming a “mean old man.” As the three ghosts took Scrooge on a tour of his life, he was called to reflect on who he was and what caused him to be that way. I remember reflecting with Scrooge, thinking about my past, my present, and my future.
We are imperfect beings, created by a perfect God; it would be unfair both to ourselves and to our God to present ourselves as anything less than imperfect. God loves us for our imperfections because God created our imperfections.
We don’t have to get the perfect gift to show someone how much we care; we don’t have to make Christmas dinner like a Cordon Bleu chef; we don’t have to make every amend because “‘tis the season”.  We just have to breathe, accept our imperfect humanity, and leave room for the Spirit.
Scrooge does more than just renounce his old ways. It takes more than just deciding one day to do better, though it is a start. In order to do better, we must know who we are and where we are on our path. We must honestly name our imperfections, celebrate them for what they are, and pray for the courage to work with them.
So, in this season where we try and get Christmas as perfect as we are, we must remember that we are imperfect and that’s okay.
God of Love and God of Grace,
We pray for peace. In this advent season, may we pay more attention to the world around us. Help us to shake off the fog of Christmas perfectionism and rather focus on the love that surrounds us. Help us to live in the moment and to celebrate with a joyful heart the graces in our lives. We pray for the courage to make our world a better place for all of Your creation.  We pray that one day that we will be able to boldly love our neighbors, our enemies, and strangers.  Amen.


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