Relationships are not just an important part of life that is all that there is. There are three basic pieces required to maintain a relationship: forgiving, truth telling, and connecting. Each one of these acts can be a challenge in communicating. I have a plaque on my wall that says: “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” Perhaps you can relate to this as can I. It is hard to be totally and consistently transparent.
However. relationships are the most precious things we have. They tell us who we are, and they allow us to help others find themselves. Our vertical relationship with God greatly informs our horizontal relationships with each other. The Advent story is God initiating an intimate relationship with us in the sending of his son, Jesus, to us. Jesus then in words and actions teaches us that we are loved by God and empowered to love each other.
But again, that can be so hard! Forgiving calls for risk, truth telling requires courage, and connecting demands commitment. But remember, even though it is hard, the hope for a life of meaning and authenticity hangs in the balance.
Reflect for a moment on the most rewarding relationship you have. Thank God for it, and when the opportunity presents itself, tell this significant other how precious that relationship is to you.
Then tell God what he means to you. Advent is a time for reflection, a time to wait with expectation, a time to hope. As the hymn You Are Mine says, our God will visit us regardless of where we are—especially in our silence, in our feeling hopeless, and in our despairing. And he will extend his hand, assuring us he is always with us and that we need not be afraid.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13.
Prayer: O come O come Immanuel. Amen.
Tomorrow: Hope gracing our “forever life.”