Advent Reading for December 8, 2021
by Allison and Vince Vance

Philippians 4:6
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

How are you coping?
As we find ourselves confronted with a myriad of mind-numbing events in today’s world it is very easy to feel overwhelmed, out of control, and basically helpless to make any difference in our circumstances. COVID-19, global warming, political instability, divisiveness, and hate are issues being thrown at us daily and sometimes it seems hourly from our cell phones, tablets, computers, TVs, radio, newspapers and magazines. On top of that are the day to day issues we must deal with in just living. When will I find a job, will I have my mortgage, car, insurance, utility, phone, etc., payment this month, next month, ever? Health issues with loved ones or yourself sometimes become all consuming. And death the inexorable gift from God is encroaching from all sides. Christmas is coming and I haven’t gotten any gifts yet, how do I cope? AAAAAHHHHH!!!

This first Sunday of Advent, which can be defined as: the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event; a time of expectant waiting and preparation of the Nativity of Christ, presents us with an alternative approach. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. It is so easy to become distracted by life that we forget we have an alternative. We are about to celebrate the birth of one who sacrificed himself so that we may be forgiven of our sins and who promised to leave with us his peace, “my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” With faith in Him we shift our focus from anxiety to peace. Place your burdens and your concerns on Christ’s shoulders and He will carry it for you, “for His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.” Be thankful for what you have and in all circumstances “let go and let God.” He will take care of everything in His time. Once you do this you will find a peace and contentment that does not seem possible.

Reflection Questions:
1. What anxious thoughts are robbing you of the experience of God’s peace?
2. What steps are you going to take to conquer the mountain of anxiety?

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, We delight in the birth of our Savior Jesus and all the blessings you have bestowed upon us. We hand over all of our troubles, problems, burdens, worries, and anything that robs us of our peace. We know that You will take care of it all in Your way. In Jesus name, Amen.