Advent Devotional – Friday, Dec 7th

IMG_2935By: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum

I Thessalonians 3:9-13

Reflection—v. 10, ‘restore whatever is lacking in your faith’
I used to think having faith was something you could be good at. ‘She was a woman of
strong faith,’ they would say of my mother after she passed away. My uncertain teenage self would think, ‘How was she so good at possessing faith?’ I think we can miss some important aspects of faithfulness when we think of it as something at which any one of us can excel. Faithfulness is relational. Even when it feels like our faith is lacking, God remains faithful to us. It never only depends on our efforts or ability. Faith is also communal. We are a community of faith. There will be days when I cannot see the myriad of ways God is revealing Godself to us, but maybe my neighbor can. In this letter to the Christians in Thessaly, Paul writes that his prayer is to restore whatever is lacking for his neighbor. Some days my faith is lacking. I listen to the concerns of my community, and I feel overwhelmed by our lack: the lack of shelter and resources, healthcare, and safe spaces. Yet I trust that God is loyal to us. It is God and my community that restore what is lacking in my faith. Are the people of the Mercy community strong of faith? Yes. And I believe it is in part because we care for one another, carry one another when one is not strong, and have patience for one another’s bad days. There will always be lack, but by God’s grace, we can bring restoration for one another.
Prayer: By your grace, O Lord, help us to restore what is lacking for one another.