I welcome this meditation assignment. As much as the meditation is another line on an every-growing to-do list, I look forward to a true reflection on the Advent season and the upcoming celebration of the birth of Christ. Actually, throughout the year I find few to-do list items that give any opportunity for meditation or reflection, and I may not be alone in this sentiment.

Shortly following Thanksgiving festivities, and now entering the second week of December, the flurry of activity makes it difficult to stop and smell the roses, viburnums or just that crisp winter air.

Professionally, we are closing out all the work we have labored on in 2019 and already planning the next 12 months of work. School semesters are rapidly approaching both high stakes testing periods and the relief of a winter break. Church activities, both pastoral and charitable, ramp up with Christmas and Advent celebrations, and annual traditions of giving.

It’s hard, in the midst of all of this activity, to pause to reflect on the year and to remember to truly celebrate the birth of Christ.  However, doing so always gives me great hope.  Even when the day-to-day chaos feels overwhelming, reflecting on the changes of this year and on the miracle of Christ’s birth remind me that we do have truly amazing things in our lives—most importantly, the love of God, along with loving relationships with friends and family. Focusing on the love around us helps to calm the chaos and brings us back to a reflective state in which we can more easily notice the growth we have made over the year and the growth that we still need to make.

Psalm 25 reminds us that the Lord truly is good and that we should put our hope and faith in him. At this time of year, it seems especially important to remember this. It is so easy to be caught up in the hustle and bustle, but we must remember that God is with us and that he can help us to overcome anything, if only we put our faith in him.

Readings: Psalm 25, Amos 7:1-9, Matthew 22:23-33