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Advent day 17: Advent is for emphasis

12.19. 2017 Posted By: The Mennonite 430 Times read

Tonya Keim lives in Hesston, Kansas, with her three young children and six rowdy chickens. She works for Bluestem Communities.

Reflections on Psalm 77:11-14 and Acts 3:17-4:4.

There are certain things we repeat, like teeth brushing, telling the kids to pick up their rooms, lines before performing in a play, basketball practice drills, passwords typed in for log-ins and entire sentences for emphasis. For emphasis. For emphasis. Some of these are rote tasks (like passwords) and some require planning and consideration (like lines for a play).

So why do we repeat Advent each year? Why every year do we celebrate the birth of Jesus? For emphasis.

Psalm 77:11-12 reads “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.”

Meditation. Repetition.

The story found in Acts 3-4 is a gripping account of Peter’s life and the last sentence of the passage catches my attention. “But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.” Peter and John faced jail time and the Sanhedrin for proclaiming Jesus’ resurrection. News for them was bad; the outlook was not good. Chaos existed in the crowds. People were full of questions. But the good, good, oh-so-good news at the end of that night was that “many who heard the message believed.”

Could the same thing be true in our celebration of Christ’s birth that was true in the proclamation of his resurrection? In 2017, taking stock of the political landscape, the wars on and in nations and cities and families, and our own personal trials and conflicts could cause nothing but discouragement.

But what if in the chaos of Christmas this year, we were to remember the deeds of the Lord? The actual deeds, the miracles, the little bits of hope in the history of our own lives?

Take a minute now, and another minute later, and a few more minutes tomorrow to remember the deeds of the Lord. Name what God has done in your life and grab hold of the power that has in your current reality. And repeat for emphasis. Believe in a Christ who was born to demonstrate the miraculous power of the repetition of grace.

Find where grace and mercy and joy and hope and kindness spring from the chaos. Harness them. Believe. And trust that the God who created miracles long ago still creates them today. For emphasis.

Read previous Advent reflections and sign up to receive our 2017 daily Advent devotionals in your e-mail inbox. 

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