Weekly Devotional

December 5, 2018

by Lesa Chandler


If you missed last weeks devotional or want to re-read one from the past go to the Devotional Archives page.

Advent has arrived, and we prepare for the arrival of the Christ Child who ushers in hope and joy and peace and love. Erin stated on Sunday that Advent occurs in the wilderness. There we must travel and clear out some barriers on our way to fully embracing hope and joy and peace and love in our lives.

The agency for which I work is also preparing. We were recently awarded new opportunities to provide foster care services and family preservation services in five counties in Kansas. If you have read the KC Star or watched the news or listened to NPR in recent months, you are aware that the Child Welfare system in Kansas is also journeying through a challenging place in the wilderness. Children get caught between life’s adversities, their families, the court system, the state child welfare agency, contractors and subcontractors, the foster/relative/kinship/adoptive families, the media, legislators, our state’s and country’s financial priorities, and their communities.

Please join me this Advent season in praying for all the staff of agencies that serve as hope keepers – whether it is as the border or in your neighborhood or in the charred remains of Paradise. Keep hope for someone who may wonder whether they will survive the wilderness.

Please join me in sharing joy with someone, whether it is a migrant or refugee or relative. I recently talked with a young Chen woman who was so proud to have achieved her citizenship status. When we celebrate with each other, our joy is multiplied.

Please join me in seeking peace, promoting nonviolence and choosing to be a part of complex conversations leading to solutions rather than joining the masses who quickly jump to blame and shame and judgement. Seek peace for the homeless, the abused, those wounded physically and psychologically by violence.

Finally, please join me in seeking to connect with love. We were created to survive life’s adversity together. Our brains are designed to reduce stress through connecting with loved ones. Our eyes and ears and hands and arms are gifts to see and hear and touch and hold each other. It is easy to love and be loved at Saint Andrew. Our hearts grow when we seek to love those who disagree with us, who hold different values, whose journey has taken them to places we have never imagined. We will need very big hearts to heal our world.

These actions will help prepare our hearts and lives for the arrival of the Christ child who comes to join us in the wilderness.