"See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts."
Malachi 3:1
The Long Search
by Larry Patzer

Advent is the time of expectation and we look forward to the symbolic arrival of Jesus. Salvation has come! Expectation and joy fill us. There are festivities and gladness. Yet, depression escalates during Advent and Christmastide. Not everyone is excited. Anxiety, fear, and uncertainty are around us just as in Malachi’s time. He saw generations whose burden was heavy, their yoke oppressive. The following poem captures the lament of that time, but it also captures the lament of some around us today.

master i search
lifetimes long
from the wilderness
one comes
no one comes
yahweh sends him
where master
he comes as a baby
what value is that
he’ll speak in god’s time
salvation is here
yoke of misery
god’s glory surrounds us
where master
god’s kingdom is within you
open my heart

As Christians we feel the presence of God under, through, and beyond the glitter of this commercial season. Share it! Jesus said God’s kingdom is within us. Do we not believe it? When we search for God’s presence, it can be hard to find in the cacophony of the season. Jesus’ words give us the answer. It is here with us. We need not search; God is within us right now. Slow down and accept you are already a child of God, blessed, loved. Share that acceptance with those around you who feel their yoke is misery and they still search. We have one commandment; love those around us. Share the warmth, the oneness of God’s kingdom within you, and be your God to them.
Today's Prayer

Holy Spirit, help me to be open to your presence, help me get me out of the way
so You can shine through me. Amen