Last year’s post on the 4th Sunday of Advent featured a long list of hectic things that had been happening to me as a single mom.

Things have been tamer for me as of late. Then today happened.

Today I went to a lovely and fun evening Christmas service at Willow Creek Community Church, had a really fun time with some people there.

My disabled daughter also smacked into a pillar and chipped her tooth while she was there. And when I got home, my son dropped my smartphone (which probably retailed for $500-$600 new when I first got it 20 months ago) and the touch screen shattered. It isn’t registering touch, so it’s currently completely unusable.

It wasn’t so long ago that I would have freaked out at either of these occurrences. Sure, I would have tried to comfort my daughter, but I would have been worrying about the cost of fixing (capping?) the tooth. And while there are cheaper smart phones out there, mine had a better camera than most, and I loved the good camera on it.

Today I found myself not worrying much about the financial cost of either of these things, because today I had peace. When my daughter smacked her face and chipped her tooth, I focused 100% on comforting her. I got her to the Special Friends room and asked if they had any ice for her fat lip (they did—they’re so good there). By the time I came back from the Christmas service, she was smiling, laughing and begging me not to make her see a dentist. (She will!) My dental insurance definitely covers a good part of fixing teeth damaged while the plan is in effect, and I have a flex-spend account to help pay for it if it comes to that. As for the phone: I think this qualifies for that emergency fund Dave Ramsey told me to have on hand in that class I took earlier this year, though I’ll probably get a cheaper phone for the next time my inevitably kids break it.

I said it last year, and I’ll say it again: God’s peace isn’t about not having bad/crazy things happen to you. It’s about facing those things firm in the knowledge that God is in control and, in the end, it will all work out for your own good as someone who loves Him.

This Fourth Sunday of Advent, may God fill you with his peace.

Scriptures for this Advent Sunday: [1]

Micah 5:2-5a ~ But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.

Psalm 80:1-7 ~ Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us! Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved. O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure. You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves. Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Hebrews 10:5-10 ~ Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’ (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).” When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Luke 1:39-55 ~ In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” Mary’s Song of Praise And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

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Sharing the Word: Scriptural Reflections for Advent by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk
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[1] Our Advent Scripture reflections for this year are being guided by Sharing the Word: Scriptural Reflections for Advent by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk (Cincinnatti, Oh.: 1989). I picked the book up from our local Bible store last year for about $4. This year is “Advent Year C.” All readings come from the NSRV.

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