Advent Devotions December 22


Ephesians 2:13-18

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.

Today is the Winter Solstice, which is the shortest day of the year. It is the day that we see the least amount of daylight and thus also the point from which the light starts to breakthrough the darkness and our days once again start getting longer.

Many churches on this day, or around this time of the season, will have what they call a Blue Christmas service. For many folks that suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), the short days and the absence of sun heading into the winter can be downright depressing. Blue Christmas can be for these folks. It can also be for  those that simply do not equate Christmas to a joyous time, either there have been some deaths of loved ones that have happened around this time or simply they have bad memories of Christmas past. We must remember that while we rejoice in Jesus’ birth, others are dreading what the memories of the Christmas season may bring.

Let us pray.

Comforting God, be with us on this shortest day of the year, bringing the promise of light to banish the darkness. Be with those whom Christmas does not bring joy and instead an uneasiness. Bless them and provide them peace. AMEN.

By Alex Steward

I am a husband, father, and pastor within the ELCA. I did not grow up in the church and thus come at this pastoring thing with an unique perspective.

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