Reading: I Thessalonians 5: 16-24 (Click to read text)
Reflection: The summer before my daughter was born, I became interested in learning more about the Watergate era. Through watching movies like Frost/Nixon and All the President’s Men, and through reading more about this era in American history, I grew a fascination with President Gerald Ford. I’ve done a lot more reading about Ford then and have visited his presidential museum in Michigan twice.
To me, Ford epitomizes what can be good about politics. He had his views, but was willing to put aside personal gain for the betterment of the country. He was willing to work with both political parties to try to achieve stability and wholeness after the brokenness created during the Nixon Administration.
When Ford took office after Richard Nixon’s resignation, he told the country that “Our long national nightmare is over.” For some reason that statement came to mind as I was pondering Advent. The season of Pentecost is long and I think that we can become complacent during Ordinary Time. Please don’t mistake my line of thinking, though. Pentecost is not a nightmare, but can be long (and maybe somewhat boring) for church folks at time.
Then, bam!, it’s time for Advent. Advent brings with it new beginnings of a church year and the anticipation and hope of the Christ child. Who doesn’t like getting ready for a little baby? The years that my wife was pregnant during the Advent season always gave me a little appreciation for the roles of Mary and Joseph and gave me a greater feeling of anticipation. It’s actually why I think I got interested in the early 1970s when we were expecting child #1. That was the time when I was born and I think I wanted to get reconnected and acquainted to what was happening when I was coming into this world and shortly after.
Our reading for today also reminds me that it is good to have new beginnings. We can do that at any time, to re-ground ourselves in God. We are reminded of the important things to being faithful in this passage:
· Rejoice always
· Pray without ceasing
· Give thanks in all circumstances
· Do not quench the Spirit.
· Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything
· Hold fast to what is good
· Abstain from every form of evil.
And those important things are followed by a reminder that God is faithful, too. “May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.”
Any season is a good time to be reminded of these words, not just at Advent! --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
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