“While they were there, in Bethlehem, the time came for her to deliver her child.”  – Luke 2:6

Sunday, Dec. 3 marks the beginning of Advent Season and we take this time to pause as a congregation and reflect on the meaning of the season. We will truly be “Bringing Jesus to Life This Christmas”. We invite you to follow along with our traditional Advent Devotionals written with a personal reflection and devotion from a member of the Highland Congregation.

To download the full advent devotional, click here.

December 18, 2017                                                                                       John 3:16-21

 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV)

Reflection:  It’s a beautiful moonlit October night and the quiet stillness is a marked change from the busy day spent packing boxes for the upcoming move to Illinois. A good friend helped me sort through my stuff and we talked about the challenges of change but mostly about the normal everyday activities of life. How I’ll miss her as well as so many others who have become like family in these 13 years in Lancaster.

I’ve reflected often on “my” scripture for this devotional and keep thinking about how, like everyday things we often take for granted, we recite John 3:16  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.” Is this one of those scriptures that we see so often that it just gets packed up in another box while we go on dealing with the challenges in our daily lives? Do we really realize just what that means to each of us?  Jim and I are so excited to be moving closer to our 3 children and 5 grandchildren because it’s hard to be at such a distance and we love them so much.

When I think about what God did, I can’t even begin to imagine the full extent of His love in offering His Son. If we want to examine the nature of God, we have only to consider this act. Absolute love for us means that we, too, need to stay focused on loving each other. Perhaps it’s less important to get all the boxes totally organized and more about spending time with those we love whom we will be leaving soon. I think I’ll make sure my calendar has more friendship opportunities in the next couple of weeks.

When you read this, it will be December 18th and I hope we will be unpacking in our new place, surrounded by laughing grandkids and family. We’ll be missing all of you, too. But, I hope that you will take time out of your busy lives to stop, call a friend, and get together to let them know that they are loved.

Prayer:  Dear Loving God: You fill my heart, my soul and my mind with your love. Forgive me for taking even a moment to fill that space with stuff that takes me away from you. Guide me into ways to show your love by loving others. Give me strength to be more open, the sense of peace that comes from being focused on You and the total joy of being surrounded by Your love during this Advent season. Amen.

Mary Kay Hymes