Wednesday, December 15

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2021 Advent Devotional: In the Midst of Changing Ways – Many Gifts, One Spirit

Week 3: The Gift of Love

Scripture: Philippians 4:7 – “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Reflector: Diane Schwemm

Photo by Aix Style on Unsplash
I was ambushed by an astonishing gift of love this fall. In the midst of a difficult year, as my family grappled with loss and illness, a baby was born to us. Our very own nativity story!

Without much time to prepare for my new role, I hurried to get to know my son’s partner so I’d be ready to support them when they welcomed their baby. Before I knew it, I was at Denver Health, holding my new grandchild and looking into his sleepy, beautiful face.

Although I believe that Jesus was a human person born of human parents, my favorite part of the Christmas story is the idea that God so loved the world that God came to live among us in the form of a newborn baby. It doesn’t make sense at the same time that it makes perfect sense. What can and should compel our devotion more than an infant? What do we need more than to be reminded that we will always do the right thing when we allow ourselves to be motivated by love and the care of others?

As I have struggled this year to support my loved ones, often unsure what to do next, suddenly all that was required of me was to show up and hold a baby, and do the simple things needed to help that baby’s parents.

As Paul wrote to the Philippians (4:6–7), “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” All we have to do this Advent season is show up. All we have to do is be open to receiving and offering the gift of love.

Prayer: God of Love, We thank you for the gift of love, help us be open to receiving it. Amen.