This Advent we (First Saints Community Church) are reading together from an Advent Devotional booklet called Jesus, Beloved Son. It contains scripture, prayers, and excerpts from the writings of Henri Nouwen.
For those unfamiliar with Nouwen, he was one of the most powerful & beloved spiritual writers of the 20th century. He wrote over 40 books before he died in 1996. They often focused on his experience of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. After teaching at Notre Dame, Yale and Harvard, he walked away from teaching to work with mentally challenged people at the L’Arche community in Toronto, Canada and served their for many years as he continued to write.
On the First Sunday of Advent we read Luke 21:34, “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with … the worries of this life."
In worship on this Sunday we talked of peace, recalling the words of Micah 5:5 – and he shall be their peace. I hear echoes of that longing for peace in Jesus’ words. If our hearts are weighed down with worry, we will not be able to find peace.
Nouwen says, “Jesus has to be and to become evermore the center of my life.” In worship Sunday we said that “Jesus is our peace.” Not that he brings peace, but that He is peace. If we want peace, what we need is Jesus. For that to happen, Jesus has to be and to become evermore the center of our lives.
That is the journey of our Advent this season. A journey that I pray will lead us to only one place – to the feet of Jesus.
Lord Jesus, the fire of my life, be my companion, my guide, my all. Amen.