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Created for a Purpose

December 2, 2017

During my brief time back in Estes Park before Thanksgiving, the local herd decided to hang out in the neighborhood. A simple picture that symbolizes for me the desire and need for rest, the waiting that Advent represents, and the fact that my family has been surrounded by such love and prayers from extended family in Estes Park and around the world!

To be honest, it really doesn’t feel like this is the beginning of Advent. Spending the end of October and all of November in Minnesota with my Mom and Dad as Mom made the final journey of her life was at times surreal. Life moved on around us as we walked with Mom and Dad through the Valley of the Shadows. But here it is, the First Sunday of Advent.

What is Advent but a time of remembering, reflecting, watching, and waiting. Before Jesus left the Earth following the resurrection, he reminded the disciples that he would come again and bring them to God. It is now almost 2,000 years later and the faithful still watch and wait for his return. So what do we do while we wait?

The reading from Isaiah spoke to this question for me. In the midst of the apocalyptic vision, this verse stands out for me: “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

We are the work of God’s hand… Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God’s masterpiece… the Greek word is Poema, which is where we get our world poem. We are God’s masterpiece… we are the work of God’s hand!

As we begin our Advent journey I would hope that we take time to focus on what we are called to be and how we are called to live. Many people will get caught up in the apocalyptic nature of the readings. With what is going on around the world and in our own nation, that would be easy to do. However, I challenge you, dear reader, along with myself to do something different.

We have been created and called for a purpose. That purpose is NOT to line our own pockets or exchange political favors for personal gain as is being done in the world of politics. Neither are we called to force religion down people’s throats at the point of a sword (or a large Bible thumped over someone’s head). We are called, as my dear wife Denise often says, to love.

When God finished with Creation, God looked upon all that had been created and said it was Good. When God created humankind in the image of God, God said that this creation was Very Good! You see? We were created for a purpose. To paraphrase Saint Augustine of Hippo — Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.

Perhaps this Advent season we can do something more than simply count down the days until Christmas. Perhaps we can examine our lives and see how we can become better instruments of God’s love and peace.

In the words of Saint Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

5 Comments
  1. A good word. ❤️

  2. Great post. Especially the part about becoming an instrument of God’s love. This is an idea that I am trying to spread this Christmas season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hidlnk1NC10&t=18s If you like it, please share it. Thanks, Rita

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