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Advent Reflection for December 4, 2021

2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!

What if Jesus is waiting to meet us and bless us in every circumstance, even the messy hard ones?

I watched my friend Lance wrap his Christmas

gifts one year. He’d put a gift in the middle of a big swatch of wrapping paper and scrunch it all up and smother it in scotch tape. Each gift looked like a toddler had wrapped it - the kind of ugly only a mom would appreciate. In fact, he’d been doing this since he was a toddler. Everyone knew It was from him - it was his signature.

I’ve been thinking about that again this year. As we read, look for about God’s Signature move to redeem us: “unto you is born Christ the Lord…and this will be the sign - you will find him lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling cloths” Luke 2:11-12


One thing we can expect: the one who loves us came to save us and meet us in the midst of mess. That’s true for us - we are the treasure hidden in the field he sold everything for; we are the pearl he sold everything to gain. We are the gift - even with all the crumpled wrapping.

Take a moment to dwell on all Jesus gave because he values you.

For me, I’m learning to see that Jesus wraps himself in each moment, person and obstacle of our day. In the messiness and messed up bits of my life, Jesus is waiting to meet me and give himself to me. He is the Lord of peace that meets us in “every circumstance” to bless us.

Somewhere, even amidst the crunched up tape and crumpled paper of our circumstances, Jesus is there to meet you too and bring you peace. He’s there to meet us and lead us through the clutter to find a way into his promises, his love and his purposes.

When I stop and ask Jesus where he is in the midst of a situation wrapped in messiness, I find he tells me he’s near. Then he reminds me he’s got a solution for every situation and I can trust him. And often, he gives me peace and some ideas to work on. But most of all, he gives me himself. I’m never facing something alone. And I’m never short of his help, provision and care.

Isn’t that one of the truths declared again and again in the Christmas story?

This is the gift the shepherds found but they had to go looking. This is the gift the magi found but it cost them a journey and their wealth. This is the gift Mary gave her "yes" to, not knowing what people might say or what lay ahead. What if we developed an attitude of, “Wow, this is messy! I’m so excited! Jesus is really going to surprise and bless me in this”?

What circumstances are you holding? Which ones seem messy, crumpled.

Open it up like a gift, with God in prayer: God, thank you even for this gift. Help me to discover you in the midst of this. With what do you want to bless me? Who do you want to be for me in this?

And as we do, may we revel deeply in how much Jesus values us and, in each situation, no matter how messy, may we search for Jesus to meet us and give himself to us.

Written by Rev. Drew Maxwell


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