advent devotional: a different, better world

Here's the final advent devotional. Merry Christmas to all who read this. I hope you'll choose to worship tonight with a congregation in your community. And tomorrow, I hope you can take the day off, especially if you're in ministry. Some of your fellow christians may smite you for it, but God will not.

Scripture: Matthew 2:12 –…they left for their own country by another road.

Because we lived in Cleveland for so long, most of my Christmas day memories from that period are of long drives. Christmas day may be the best travel day of the year. We never, ever hit a traffic jam on our many 450 mile trips from Ohio to New Jersey, and the coffee was free at all Sheetz stations on that day. How lovely!

I found I enjoyed those Christmas drives and I miss them now. Fellow travelers were always more pleasant on that day, and I guess I was too. Total strangers at the Sheetz stations would stop and say, “Merry Christmas,” and not just the person behind the counter. Even the world itself seemed different. It looked the same, except maybe for some snow cover west of here, but something had changed. It felt like, for one day, we inhabited a different, better world.

Now comes the part where I’m supposed to tell you that you should, by God’s power, strive to make the world different and better today. But I’m not going to do that. I simply hope that you will take a moment to recognize that because of Christmas, the world is somehow different, and that God didn’t need us to do anything but let him make it so.

Will you do that today? And maybe thank God for what he’s done as well.

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