Advent Devotional – December 14

Advent Week 3: Joy

December 14

Matthew 6.25-30, NRSV

 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

“Hey, where you going in such a hurry

Don’t you think it’s time you realized

There’s a whole lot more to life than work and worry

All the sweetest things in life are free

And they’re right before your eyes…”

Stop and Smell the Roses was a popular song penned by Mac Davis in the 1970’s.  Its words remind us of our priorities, especially during this advent season.  Do you have a Christmas to-do list?  Does it grow before your eyes?  When you lay down at night does your mind scroll through what you have to get done?  Do you find yourself worrying, perhaps getting short with loved ones, eating more than you should, not exercising, or other negative coping behaviors?  Today’s scripture reminds us of God’s provision for us.  He cares deeply for His world and especially for us as His children.  Why spend time worrying over tomorrow when we have today to enjoy?

In Romania the Christmas season begins the end of November.  We have the usual hustle and bustle of gift buying and meal planning.  However, it is balanced out by making family and friends a priority.  We celebrate Christmas Day 1 and Christmas Day 2 (25th & 26th). Businesses completely close.  Public transportation slows down.  The streets are quiet except for caroling groups that can be heard as they stroll to friends’ homes.  Churches gather to worship and celebrate the Newborn Babe.   It is a time of enjoying being together with others.  There is less stress, less worry and more laughter, play, and celebration.  How would your Advent be different if you slowed down, worried less, took time to contemplate the season, and celebrate the King?

Prayer:  Dear God; Help us today to feel your great love.  Help us today to rely on you for our needs.  Help us today to reprioritize our Advent to-do list to the important points of You, family, and friends.  Help us to stop and smell the roses of the day.

Action:  Take a look at your Christmas to-do list.  What can you remove?  What can you do differently? Make this Advent season less about worry and stress and more about celebration.


Tammy Stocks serves with her husband, Ralph Stocks, as a CBF missionary to the Roma people in Romania.


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