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Fourth Monday of Advent: Devotional by Nikki Howard

Advent blessings!
It is almost Christmas.  This week in Advent we celebrate God’s love made real on earth.  I am reminded that while Christmas can feel so ordinary, it really is a mystery, love’s greatest surprise.  Fredrick Buechner says, “Once you have seen God in a stable you can never be sure where God will appear or to what ludicrous depths of self-humiliation God will descend in God’s wild pursuit of you” This week as we celebrate Christmas may we have new eyes to see all the unexpected places in our world that God is showing up and surprising us with love.  May  the love of God fill you up and overflow from you today and every day! 
Today’s devotional is written by Nikki Howard.  Nikki is a junior speech pathology major at TCU.  Among many other things, she is this year’s Co-President of TCU Catholic Community.  You might have seen Nikki working in the BLUU.  Whenever I see her working there, or anywhere on campus, she is smiling and asking how she can help you!  Nikki and her family bleed purple.  She represents the TCU spirit.  She is a person of deep kindness, intelligence and faith who uses her gifts to make a difference in the world around her.  Today she reminds us that we who have been deeply loved by God are called to love others abundantly.  I pray you hear God whispering love into your life through her words.
advent 3
An Advent Devotional, by Nikki Howard
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” – Matthew 22:37-39
One summer when I was in high school, I was told to close my eyes and picture God. When I closed my eyes, I saw my family and friends smiling, laughing, and hugging one another. It never really hit me until that moment that I see God through others and through their love for one another.
I found this verse to be very applicable to the advent season. Advent is a time of love and service both for God and for others. I think it is very important during the advent season to help those in most need and to be selfless. While many people make lists of many things they want for Christmas, others give their time and money to those in most need. That is what advent is really about. Serving others. God sent his one and only Son to us to serve us. That is what we are celebrating during the advent season. Jesus came to save us from our sins, so now it is our chance to help others in return. When we love others, we love God. We are told that we should love our God and that we should love our neighbors. When we love our neighbors and give to them, we are also giving to God. When I look around, I see God. I see Him through the love and service of others.
God of Love,
Your son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us; He is a sign of your love for us.
Help us to share that love with others and serve those in most need during the weeks of Advent.
You showed us what love is, so now help us to show others that same love.
We pray in the name of Jesus, our Savior.


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