Read Ezekiel 36:24-28.
In today’s reading of Ezekiel, we see God promising to gather the people of Israel back to their own lands. He promises to heal them, bless them and give them a new start. The Advent season has always been a time of gathering together. We prepare to leave the day-to-day tasks of assignments and final exams to be plunged into the whirlwind that is known as “The Christmas Holidays.” We gather with family around the tree and around the table, and for most of us, we are “home.” However, for some others of us, this season may be a reminder of things that are not perfect, of broken families, of not having enough, of pain. Some of us are not ready to go home for the holidays, to be “gathered together.” In the midst of the joyous or difficult seasons and situations, we can be assured that God is with us. That He has placed His heart and Spirit within us. As we go, we remember that it is God with us, giving us hope, and allowing us to share the hope that this season ushers in. Even as excited or as broken as we are, God has promised hope. While we may not be going back to Israel, to “The Promised Land,” we can hold on to the promise that God can bring hope to wherever we are, through us.
Pray: God of Hope and Peace, as we end this semester and get ready for the holidays, remind us that we hold the promise of hope in us. That in no matter what situation we walk into, You are there, Giver of Hope and Peace. Let us be a blessing to those around us as we celebrate not just the season, but You, and the hope you bring. Amen.
Rachel Mathews, MUW UKirk