category: Advent

Advent Devotion: Day 20

Friday, December 16

2 Samuel 7:18-22; Galatians 4:1-7

As a child, Christmas was my favorite holiday. It was always exciting to help my dad put up the outdoor Christmas lights, decorate the Christmas tree with my little sister, help my mom put out the Christmas village, and bake Christmas cookies with my aunt. I loved singing Christmas carols at church, and I would play Christmas music all the time when I was hanging out at home. Even as an adult, I cannot resist wearing a tacky and festive Christmas sweater! Christmas was truly the most magical time of the year.

As I have gotten older, the magic of Christmas has dimmed. The ways of the world have made us slaves to our jobs, to our responsibilities, to fear, and to sin. It is difficult to enjoy beloved Christmas traditions when other tasks consume my attention. Every year seems to be a desperate attempt to experience the warm feelings of the Christmas I experienced as a child. Even though I enjoy making new traditions with my husband and hanging up my childhood ornaments on our tree, there is still a feeling of emptiness.

But the season of Advent is a season of hope; God knew just the right time to send Jesus into the world. Paul tells us in Galatians 4:5 that Jesus was sent “to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.” Jesus’ arrival meant the people of the world were set free of bondage and obligation; they were now God’s children. We serve a God who always keeps promises. David’s prayer in 2 Samuel reminds us of that promise and states that the Lord’s name will not go unpraised.

Even though I know Christmas will not hold the same magic for me as it once did, I hold on to the hope and follow the light. As I sing my favorite Christmas carols, I know that we are anticipating Jesus’ arrival, and that his arrival means that better times are coming. We are God’s children, and the good news is that God’s timing is always perfect.

Lindsay Karbach
School of Divinity Student

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Advent Devotion: Day 21

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