Advent blessings to you.
This week we in Advent we focus on God’s peace. We remember that Jesus was called the Prince of Peace. While peace was born into our world in the body of Jesus, we still long for peace. We find ourselves crying out alongside the prophets for God’s peace to come again. We long for enemies to become friends, for justice and righteousness to kiss, for the lion to lie down with the lamb and for a little child to lead us all. We long for the day when God’s whisper of peace becomes louder than bombs and stronger than hate. We cry out for the day when the stress and worry inside our own selves will be overwhelmed by God’s peace that passes all understanding. We pray for God’s peace to be born again.
Today’s devotional comes from Michael Meek. Michael is a senior Religion Major/Business Minor from El Campo Texas. He is the president of Beta Upsilon Chi – Brothers Under Christ Fraternity and Chi Delta Mu (a program of the TCU Religion Department). He has served as a Leaders for Life mentor, Frog Camp facilitator, and a leader in Fraternity and Sorority Life. God shines through Michael. He spends his time at TCU sharing God’s love through his words, his peace, and his actions. Today he reminds us that we don’t have to hold the worry of the world alone. I pray you hear God whispering peace into your life through his words.
Peace to you,
Rev. Allison Lanza
TCU Associate Chaplain
An Advent Devotional, by Michael Meek
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
As Advent and the Holiday season approach, I find myself bombarded with Christmas overload. Not the Christ part that I should look for, but more of the material, processed Christmas that we see as 21st century Americans. We can barely make it through Thanksgiving without seeing our televisions showing new cars with bows and upcoming Christmas sales. If you’re not finding yourself bombarded then you are one of Santa’s elves or have unlocked some secret power.
The passage in Matthew reminds me of my summer before coming to TCU. I spent the summer in the mountains of Pagosa Spring, Colorado at Sonlight Christian Camp, a small, non-denominational camp nestled in a meadow of the San Juan National Forrest. Seems peaceful, right?
When I signed the contract to work for Sonlight though I was a freshman at the University of Texas – Austin. Outside of orange being a miserable color, I spent the majority of my time at UT in a spiral of discontent. I was in a big city that did not feel like home while I failed to connect with my peers. As a result, my faith in Christ was dismal and was always uncomfortable. When I paid my deposit to transfer to TCU, I knew I would be starting fresh in the fall, but I had no clue how to be refreshed.
Sonlight was the answer for me and I was blessed with the opportunity to let Jesus and Mother Nature bring my famished soul back to life through serving kids. Every week before a new set of campers arrived the Camp Director, Heather, would read this passage from Matthew to the staff. It was always like washing my face with cold water – refreshing and eye-opening.
As the Christmas season approaches I find myself bogged down from finals and the material worries of the “Christmas” mentioned above. The scripture tells us Jesus is willing to take all of our baggage! Why do I feel the need to continuously hold onto all of my discontent though? Something inside me is so afraid of being vulnerable to Jesus, but when I manage to let go then I can finally breathe out.
Now as a senior at TCU who has blossomed through God-honoring community, it’s easy to see the thing I missed at UT was putting my burdens into Christ. It wasn’t a setting change that allowed me to respond to Christ, rather a mindset change where I yearned to know him more. Don’t make the same mistake I did years ago. As the Holiday season stretches you thin, find sanctuary at the Cross.
We celebrate Christmas to honor the birth of our savior, Jesus (go ahead, read it again, I promise it’s truthful). I believe there’s no better way to honor Christ than to follow through with what the Bible says. In this case, learn from Jesus and exchange your bag of worries for a world of peace. Allow Jesus to enrich your holiday season. Have happy Holidays, folks. Cheers.
Let us pray
God, I pray that as the Christmas season approaches we value your Son’s birth and the difference it has made to each of us. I pray that we feel your peace during this season and we learn from you – your yoke is light and you invite us to share it. Help us to exchange the stress of this world for a peace that is unrivaled. We know that you’re the author of peace, God, so help us give our discomfort to you. Amen