1st Sunday of Advent
Sing out your thanks to him; sing praises to our God, accompanied by harps. He covers the heavens with clouds, sends down the showers and makes the green grass grow in mountain pastures. He feeds the wild animals and the young ravens cry to him for food. The speed of a horse is nothing to him. How puny in his sight is the strength of a man. But his joy is in those who reverence him, those who expect him to be loving and kind. Psalms 147:7-11 (TLB)
Lisa Stackpole lives in Wisconsin. Christmas is usually her favorite season, and she looks forward to it with great anticipation. Many years ago, though, she was filled with emptiness despite the approaching holiday. A relationship with a man she loved and had planned her future with had fallen apart that autumn. All of a sudden, her life felt aimless.
Lisa spent the holidays at home with her widowed father that year. One drab day in late December, Lisa looked through his kitchen window and felt that the overcast weather mirrored her emotions. When she turned around, she noticed her father's appointment calendar. On the date she had arrived, he had written her flight information. Underneath it was a note: "Lisa home. Happy, happy!"
Suddenly, Lisa was overwhelmed by the impact of his love. How could she feel so empty knowing that her presence caused her father so much joy? On a deeper level, she was reminded that she also has a heavenly parent who loves her and rejoices over her, even more than her earthly parent does. Lisa knew this love would carry her through her breakup and any other hard times that she might face. Now, decades later, Lisa can say that God's love continues to sustain her.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, thank you for your unfailing love, which is the anchor for our lives, in Jesus' name. Amen.