Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Reflection for Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent
MT 18: 12-14

The first reading today starts off with a word so many of us need: “comfort.” If you are like me, you find yourself in a very “uncomfortable” time in life. Finals are here, grades are being finalized, some of us are applying to grad schools or making big life decisions, and let’s not even mention sleep deprivation. Yeah, we could all use a little comfort. And when I think of comfort, all I really want is to lounge in my living room back home, curled up next to the fireplace with a plate of my mom’s Snickerdoodles, a warm cup of cocoa, and watching a new episode of Parks and Rec. Is that too much to ask? While I do hope that I get to achieve this soon, God’s message of comfort goes much deeper.

How many of us feel absolutely lost right now? Maybe it’s just lost in the shuffle or the daily monotony, needing to break free. Or for some of us, it’s a greater feeling of lost, having no idea where you are in life or with your faith and seeing no signs of getting back on track. I imagine this is a very common feeling among college students and humanity in general. The Israelites felt the same thing millenniums ago. They had spent lifetimes experiencing what seemed like obstacle after obstacle and even spent years in exile. For all practical purposes, it was foolish to believe that there was hope or that their future showed any signs of betterment. They were lost. Yet, in the first reading, here is Isaiah telling them rejoice and take comfort, your punishment has been fulfilled, the wrongs have been righted, and the Lord is coming to save.

Isaiah’s message of hope is vital for all of us in our own lives. But what does it really mean to have hope? We hear the word so often, yet I feel we fail to capture what it truly encompasses. Although I strongly believe there is a lot of joy from being optimistic, hope is more than that. As Christians, our hope takes on an entirely new form in Jesus Christ. Hope is knowing that this life – these challenges and struggles, these pleasures and joys – are not our final destination but knowing that we have fulfillment in the coming of our Savior.

Jesus is fighting for you. He wants each of us, wherever we are in life, however lost we may be. The gospel today gives us the image of Jesus as a shepherd and we as His sheep, showing us that Jesus wants you specifically. You may feel lost or separated but that doesn’t stop His dream to be united with you. Jesus is frantically doing everything He can to get you back because He loves you beyond compare. During this time of Advent, we are preparing ourselves to find Him. We may not be where we want. We may not be comfortable. But that’s okay. God is not calling us to be our final products yet. He uses these uncomfortable times or moments of uncertainty to wake us up, to better understand ourselves and our relationship with Him. The Israelites knew that all too well and you might too. But at the end of the day, take comfort and rejoice because God knows you’re lost and He is doing everything He can to guide you back home, even if we don’t understand how. So in these weeks before Christmas, reflect on where your heart is and if you are truly ready to receive Him or His dream for you.

Stephen Deves is a senior studying Accounting with a minor in Mathematics and a Resident Advisor in the Griesedieck Complex.

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