Daily Bread Dec. 17

There Is a Season
By John Bonney of Springfield, OR, USA

Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.…But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace. —James 3:13, 17–18 NRSV

There is something truly inspiring about this season. It is a time when most calendars reach the concluding month. Part of the mystique is that many cultures and societies through time have recognized this point as a season of turning. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3). People all over the world note that the earth makes a major shift at this time. This is especially noticeable in the temperate and arctic climes, but even people of the tropics are aware.

The earth shifts and the number of daylight hours begins to change. A new season is in the offing, and then a newer season, and then a newer season yet. It is a time for rejoicing, for celebration, as well as solemn ritual observances. We are turning the corner. The northern hemisphere will begin to see the end of the cold and the dark and a trend toward light and warmth. We will move again through another series of four seasons and watch the landscape change in accompaniment to the changing times. We age, but seasonal changes seem ageless.

Let us then enjoy our own observances, but also give a nod of acceptance and appreciation for the ways with which peoples of this earth observe such transition. Let us remember good friends and loved ones. Some have left this life during the past year, and twelve months from now, more will be gone. And then one day, others will rejoice in the season and remember, and in their remembrances will be the mental image of each of us.

May your seasons be bright—bright with love, bright with times of happiness, bright with the coming of light out of a moment that is dark. May you find that light in the sense of accomplishment and in the sense of peace. If it is your way, remember the Prince of Peace and the example of a life lived well and given lovingly. May the touch of the divine presence be in you. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”

Advent Prayer Phrase

Anticipation deepens within.

Invitation to Spiritual Practice

Spend a few moments dwelling in God’s presence. Pay attention to where your heart feels drawn into prayer. What words, images, or themes in this story lead you to reflect on your own faith journey? What is God’s invitation to you this day?

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