Let's Refocus (Advent) - Saturday, December 16

advent devotions 2017 lutheran indian ministries

Let's Refocus - Saturday, December 16

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

In the time leading up to Christmas, I really notice the push from the media to buy, buy, buy!  Not to mention that the word “Christmas” is not used at all; it is all about the “Holidays.”

As I visit the shut-ins on the reservation, I see a reoccurring sadness in each one of them.  Here it is, the time of year which should bring us tremendous joy knowing that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, came into the world to save us.  Instead, people are depressed and melancholy.  I realized I needed to get people refocused somehow.

The next time I went to visit, people began reminiscing about Christmases past and families gathered together. Now, however, everyone has either passed on or scattered. Not to mention, there was no money to buy any gifts.

I decided to change things and help them to refocus.

I asked those elders to remember those memories of Christmases past as wonderful gifts from God that will always be with them.  If we are home alone on Christmas, it doesn‘t change the fact that Christ was born to the Virgin Mary and came to earth and dwelt among us.  If we have no gifts under the tree, He still came to save us from everlasting death because He loves us that much! 

Almost immediately, the tears of sadness were replaced with tears of happiness.  People started realizing that this time of year was about each and every one of them as individuals, that God loves them, and that He is with them.  As people refocused on Jesus and took their eyes off of all the things that man has created for this time of year, they finally began to see why we celebrate the birth of God’s Son, Jesus. 

Now, their stories about past Christmases are full of meaning, gifts to treasure in their hearts, for Jesus is with them each and every day of the year.

Dear Lord, help us not to get caught up in the world’s view of Christmas.  Let us keep our focus on you and on the wonderful gift of Jesus.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Deaconess Cathy Benzler (Cherokee)
Port Angeles, Washington