With the first week of Advent already mid-swing I think it is the perfect time not only to reflect on the upcoming birth of Christ but on our Reconciliation with Christ. Some may question why it would be important to embrace the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Advent, while many find it customary to attend Penance Services during Lent because that is when we focus on how our sins nailed Christ to the Cross. While this is true, I find Advent the perfect time to reconcile with Christ. This reconciliation helps prepare us for the perfect gift…the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The anticipation of the celebration of the birth of Christ should fill us with the joy of Christmas. I know it is easy to get distracted with all the beautiful sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas, but Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ. God loved us so much that he humbled himself to be born a human. Jesus endured all the ups and downs of being human as well. He also had a deeper and greater understanding of our humanity. Can you imagine how difficult it had to be being God born man, living among us, seeing us falter repeatedly, yet loving us all the more in spite of our faults?
When I ponder this thought my heart is overwhelmed with feelings…feelings of how unworthy I am that Jesus came to live among us, witnessed firsthand the cruelty of humanity and yet humbly accepted and willing gave himself for my salvation. Words do not describe the humility that fills my heart knowing that, even though I am a sinner and struggle with sin, Jesus loves me. He loves me so much that he is able to forgive me, look beyond my imperfections to see the potential he has bestowed upon me (and each of us).
The idea that God created each of us and that he is present within each of us astounds me. I know, even in my worst moment, God is still present within me and I was created in his image. That gives me hope when I feel hopeless. Knowing that God loved me so much that he not only created me but also did so in his image and likeness and is always present within me, offers me comfort, offers me complete acceptance and love.
No other can love us or forgive us like God can. How much more blessed can we be than to have someone love us as Jesus loves us? He loved us enough to give his own life to save us. He continues to love us even though we sin, even though we turn away from him. God loves us so much that he never gives up on us. God is always present, waiting for us to return to him so he can embrace us with his everlasting love.
Advent is a time we look forward to celebrating the birth of Christ because without his birth our salvation would be at stake. Jesus has given us the greatest gift one can receive through his birth. This Advent Season I long to take a moment each day to recall this gift we have all been given. The birth of Christ renews our hope, encourages our faith to grow and provides the perfect example of how to love one another as Jesus as called us to do.
Copyright 2014 Lorrie Lane Dyer