Sunday, December 14: Third Sunday of Advent
Now, may the God of peace himself cause you to be completely dedicated to him; and may your spirit, soul, and body be kept intact and blameless at our Lord Jesus Christ's coming. The one who is calling you is faithful and will do this.
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
When the weather gets cold, I find it difficult to think that anything will keep my body intact. Starting sometime in October, my hands get rough and start cracking, and I become convinced that all of my body parts will never again be warm at the same time! These verses from 1 Thessalonians make me stop and think about what else about me—spirit and soul—may also not seem completely intact, as we go through the cold of the year. What parts of me are not completely dedicated to God right now?
Sure, I’m as good at making excuses as anybody else—I’m not always completely dedicated because I’m tired, I’m busy, someone is bothering me, there are too many deadlines, etc., etc., etc. But now, right in the middle of Advent, while we have been working at preparing ourselves, while we have been spending time in self-examination and turning away from what keeps us from being ready for Christ’s return, what is really keeping me from being completely dedicated? Do I believe that God—the God of peace—can actually change me enough that I will be fully committed, completely dedicated to God’s cause in the world?
Yes! Yes, I do! And what’s more, I do already know that “the one who is calling you is faithful and will do this.” Now, I may forget, and I may let myself get distracted sometimes, but I do know that God is working on me and making me more faithful. I believe that God is doing that with all of us who believe, so that the world will know the good news of salvation.
I hope you are spending time with that God of peace this season, letting God shape you and mold you, letting God help you become more dedicated to God’s purposes. It’s not easy, but it is worth it!
Prayer: God of peace, renew us, revive us, and change us in this season, to anticipate with hope that which is to come, and to work with faithfulness and passion the tasks you set before us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.