December 21

Read Genesis 37:2-11.

What if Advent is not just about anticipation but also about becoming and belonging? As we wait in hope, peace, joy, and love for Emmanuel, we’re reminded of who God created us to be. We’ve been given incredible gifts to use in making peace and justice wherever we can, even when we struggle to feel validated in them.

Joseph is a teenager with bourgeoning gifts for leadership and creativity, but he is not in the most affirming household. He is the favored son — filled with honesty and a gracious spirit — and all his brothers hate him for it. As a dreamer, Joseph is attuned to realities that are not yet in view but have heavy implications for the “way things are,” or will be in the future. Instead of being encouraged by his family, he is ostracized as a threat, and I imagine that was a painful experience. Though he eventually becomes a powerful leader and reconciles with his brothers, Joseph’s path comes with hard truths about how his identity and gifts were not celebrated by his family. Not everyone will understand the work of God in our lives. We may long for external validation, but God affirms every fiber of our being, calling us good and beautiful, just as we are.


God, help us find value in all our gifts and aptitudes, as we come to know you more and feel the full embrace of your love in this season of Advent. With grateful hearts we pray, amen.

Rev. Erin Guzmán

Chaplain & UKirk Advisor, The College of Wooster (OH) & UKirk Wooster

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