As we prepare to enter the Season of Advent, I have been particularly saddened by the hate and anger and vindictiveness we are exposed to every day. Whether it is someone close to you that is treating you badly or saying hurtful things or complete strangers attacking other complete strangers, our world seems to be forgetting that we are awaiting the arrival of Jesus.
The world in general has lost its way, many times we get caught up in the ways of the world and forget about the things that truly matter. I am hopeful that if we focus daily on our faith life and the beauty and compassion and kindness in the world, somehow the rest of it will be overshadowed!
This Advent, I will personally be spending more time in prayer and in service and I will be sharing these opportunities of faith with my family and the people I meet in my daily life. I struggle just like anyone else to remember to LOVE at all times. It is easy to forget when someone hurts us that forgiveness heals.
I recently had a conversation with a friend about someone who had hurt me deeply and how I forgive the person and harbor no bad feelings, but simply choose to separate myself from continued abuse from this person. A priest once told me that God doesn’t want us to be in painful relationships. Sometimes we can pray all we want for another person’s heart to be changed, when in fact, we would be better off to pray that our own heart see that it is time to step away from someone that inflicts pain on others.
Here is what I am praying for this first week of Advent, I am praying that my actions and words would be full of love for God and for others as well. I am praying that when someone says or does something that hurts me or someone I love that I will not lash out in anger but instead pray for the strength to forgive them. I am praying that I will CHOOSE to live each day of my life as a faithful servant to God and that I will share the lessons I learn along the way with my children and loved ones. I am praying that I will remember to place my focus on Jesus and His saving Grace this Holy Season and NOT on gifts and glam and inappropriate celebrations.
Let us begin this Advent with Grace and Love in our hearts and a sincere intent to live our lives to know, serve and love our God. Find a way that your family can dedicate a portion of their day to growing their faith, serving others and spreading joy and love. Whatever your faith, look to your church for suggestions of daily activities or bible readings. Here is a link to one that our family will be using.