Advent Reflections 2020 – Day 13


Advent 2020 – Living For God

Based upon: 1 Thessalonians 4: 1-12

By Catherine Simpson, Growing Faith Champion – Please Share Widely

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Our reading today is from one Thessalonians chapter four and if it were to be a school report I think it might read something like could do better

when my children were very young I used to live for sleep it became an obsession how many hours I got how many interruptions whose turn it was to get up was the most important one

in january 2012 i lived um for about a month waiting for a phone call from james cook hospital my daughter who was 11 at the time had had a minor accident um that went on to develop into a complex neurological problem and we’d seen loads of different health professionals and eventually we were sent home from darlington hospital with a promise of a referral to james cook to a specialist team and i can remember sitting on the couch with her and she was in constant pain and trying to distract her and just trying to get her through it um and every now and again i would look out the window and it was snowing we had loads of snow that year and every couple of hours i would get up and i would go and clear the drive just in case the phone rang because i was convinced at any moment that phone call was going to come it did eventually after about a month of waiting but there are times in our lives when circumstances can become all-consuming fear worry pain sleep deprivation anxiety pressure loneliness whatever it might be we can have times in our lives where we feel like we’re just in the zone of survival that we’re simply living our lives for the next friday the half term when the mortgage is paid off when the debts are paid when i lose weight when i pass the exams perhaps this year we’ve all lived in the when lockdown’s over when the restrictions are lifted when the vaccine is here but this passage exhausts us to live for god to live to please him and the good news is that that isn’t dependent on anything other than a commitment just to do that the bible tells us that jesus is the same yesterday today and forever god is faithful and reliable and he’s um and his mercies are new every morning no matter what’s going on in the world so it’s not reliant on circumstances or things going to plan the best layered plans of mice and men often go awry now that saying comes from a poem entitled to a mouse and it was penned by robert burns in 1785 and basically the speaker in the poem is expressing his sorrow to the mouse whose nest he destroyed accidentally with a plow well this has certainly been a year of nests been unexpectedly squashed by plows no one could have predicted the way this year has ended well almost no one i think one of the positives of this year has been the enforced we often say stop the world i want to get off well for a short time the world did feel like it had stopped but at these times that god can have the space the time the room and the opportunity to break into our lives and our best lair plans in a fresh way

This passage talks about holiness and that means to be set apart for God we’ve been forced apart from many aspects of our lives in the last few months we’ve been forced apart from our families and that’s been really hard but that sense of being apart is something that God wants us to choose to do in the way that we live for him to give him the time and the space to meet with us to transform us to shape our priorities god wants us to be pure the very best that we can be for him not contaminated not watered down but flourishing in his love and his perfect plan

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