Each year, members of the Newberry College community — faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the college — contribute short devotional pieces for the days of Advent. (This year we did it for Lent as well, but the Advent tradition has gone on for a while.) Each piece begins with a text from Scripture, is followed by a reflection, and concludes with a prayer. What follows is my contribution for today.
Romans 13:11-14 (KJV)
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
One of the most wonderful things about the Christmas season is the arrival of the people we love. Our friends, our families – whether birth or created – the others about whom we care, we join with them in celebration, laughter, and love. But as anyone who has house guests knows, this is also a source of stress. As my wife says, we want things to be nice. There are sheets to wash, showers to scrub, and carpets to vacuum. We have to get to the grocery, and that means more stuff to prepare and put away. But even with the stress, we do it because we believe that Christmas is a time for love, and we want to celebrate that love with joy.
In today’s text, Paul calls us to prepare for the arrival of the most special Guest of all, and Paul wants us to put not just our homes, but our very selves in order. We ourselves want to be temples – homes for the Lord – and we would be wise to follow Paul’s advice, and my wife’s. Christ is coming, and we will celebrate with joy and with our whole beings, and we should remember that we want things to be nice.
Heavenly Father, we know we are not worthy of Your coming, but we know you are arriving nonetheless. Please give us the strength to make ourselves acceptable in Your sight as you approach. In the Name of Your Son, Amen.
Blessed Advent to you all.