Our Advent Devotion for Tuesday, December 14, comes to us from The Fullness of Time by Henri J.M. Nouwen
For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains
and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the
field shall clap their hands.
Isaiah 55:12 NIV
“Every time I overcame the fear of my own wounds and the wounds of
those around me and dared to touch them gently, joy and peace
came to me in ways I never dreamed of.”
Heart Speaks to Heart, page 54, by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Our experience of the world around us is not always gentle. Some days, by the time evening comes, we may feel a bit bruised or even broken. We have a God who understands this feeling. We have a Savior who has experienced this too. All the gentleness that we yearn for is available to us in his presence with us, a soothing balm for whatever wounds we bear or see in those around us. The Christ Child in the humble manger is a sign of this divine gentleness, a sign that God yearns to be with us as much as we yearn to be with him. Christmas reminds us that this world can gentle by the grace of God-with-us.
I love the Biblical stories about gentle Jesus, especially the ones with the children and with those who have been harmed, or shunned, or stricken with illness. They remind me how gentleness can offer healing and hope, especially in a world stricken with aggression and violence.
Lord Jesus, we yearn for a gentler world. Stay with us so we may experience your gentleness and share it with others. Renew our joy and peace in your presence.
Amen. Henri J.M. Nouwen