Written by Annie Warner Donnelly
So often the fast pace of our lives seems to overshadow events that don’t exhibit some form of urgency. It’s a blessing that December brings with it the annual celebration of the birth of Jesus, a constant reminder that the events of non-urgency often bring love and joy into our lives.
Let’s think about:
- the child’s grin as he shows, for the first time, how he can tie his shoes;
- the young skater who crosses the rink without falling or bumping into someone;
- the new bride who will soon enter her dining room with her first Christmas turkey deliciously browned;
- the young couple’s happiness as they anticipate the birth of their first child;
- the father’s consoling touch as he warms cold hands that lost their mittens;
- the grandmother’s tear sliding down her smiling face as she sings to her new grandchild;
- the elderly man who watches his grandchild struggle with wood and cloth and nails to make a boat fit for sailing on a pond.
Think about the tender moments woven into the fabric of your life. Didn’t you slow down to experience them?
As we enter this holiday season, let’s resolve to focus on being present in each moment rather than piling presents under a tree. If there was ever a time to exhibit the character of God, it’s now. The world needs what the Bible, in Galatians 5:22-23, calls the Fruit of the Spirit. God is love and the
Fruit of the Spirit is love expressed:
- in joy in the presence of God’s creation and in the presence of one another;
- in peace in relationships with one another and within ourselves;
- in patience in all our interactions;
- in kind words and actions towards one another;
- in expressions of goodness;
- in gentleness as our lives touch the lives of others;
- in faithfulness to the covenant God has made with us – He is our God and we are His people; and,
- in self-control, that vital character trait that keeps us close to Jesus.
There are many things in life that pressure us to draw away from God. Covid-19 is still a reality. Some people are still out of work. Some businesses have less stock. Other businesses have closed altogether. Analysts keep generating statistics.
In a time when the news is reporting many things that can cause us to worry and be afraid, we’re reminded in Romans 8:15-16 that we did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but we have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out ‘Abba, Father’. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
As children of God, we are loved beyond our capacity to imagine. The Bible assures us that God never leaves us nor forsakes us so we have nothing to fear. Let’s watch for events of non-urgency. Let’s promise ourselves that we’ll slow down, that we’ll be present in each moment, and respond with expressions of love. Amen.
Rosie’s Devotions – Written by Rosemary Hagedorn
Intense heat, devastating floods, wildfires, avalanches, and an ongoing pandemic, climate experts are voicing their concerns and calling for radical changes.
Changes in our climate are creating a domino effect. One just has to watch the news to see what the floods in B.C. are doing. People are losing their homes, cattle are drowning and dying in the flood waters which in turn will have an adverse effect on the water. Farmers are unable to milk their cows and therefore the milk has to be dumped, which in turn will make dairy and beef prices soar.
“We have built a civilization based on a world that doesn’t exist anymore.We are conducting an unprecedented experiment with our planet … The temperature has only moved a few tenths of a degree for us, until now, just small wiggles in the road. But now we are hitting a curve we’ve never seen before.”
— Katherine Hayhoe, climate scientist at Texas Tech University
“We are on a catastrophic path … We can either save our world or condemn humanity to a hellish future.”
— Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the UN.
Genesis 2:15-The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Our God has entrusted us to look after our home, called earth. We are to be the caretakers, but unfortunately we are not doing a very good job, we are destroying our world. When power and greed become our priority, humanity will suffer its consequences.
Prayer: Lord God, you have created this world for us to live in and have entrusted us to take care of your creation. We confess that we have put ourselves first, no matter what the cost, to make our lives easier. We have desired materialistic things that in the end, damage and kill. Lord God, instil in us the desire to care for the earth and help us to be the caretakers that we are supposed to be.