“Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger
“He redeems your life from destruction; he crowns you with kindness and compassion.” (Ps 103:4)
“Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11:28)
What a wonderful set of readings we have today! Amidst the busyness of finishing up the semester, working on Christmas ministries and worship, and getting ready for family events, we get a lovely Advent reminder that God cares for us with an unbelievable compassion. The readings also remind us to use this Advent time to realign our lives.
One image that comes to my mind from the first reading is that of a mature athlete who gracefully covers the court with seemingly little effort while his younger competitor runs himself (or herself) into the ground. Likewise, consider an excellent, seasoned caregiver who seems able to handle the chaotic demands of a room full of children with graceful ease. Both the athlete and the caregiver make their work look effortless. Their knowledge of what to do and how to do it is so ingrained that they can accomplish more than would be expected with relative ease. Their knowledge and maturity allows them to spend their energies wisely.
One focus for re-alignment from the readings for today is to recommit our hope in the LORD. I am confident that the more we can really put our hope in the LORD, the more we will see how to use our energies wisely. We more fully tap into “knowledge beyond scrutiny.” We become more mature disciples – able to serve with grace and compassion. The more we put our hope in the LORD, the more we take on the yoke Jesus that speaks of and learn from Him. The more we put our hope in the LORD the greater our kindness and compassion for service. When we start putting our hope in other things (our own hard work, professional respectability, other people), we often find ourselves running frantically or paralyzed in fear.
Let’s praise God for the wonderful promises in the readings today and commit ourselves anew to putting our hope fully in the LORD this Advent season.
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