Pulpit Reflections by Rev. Shelley Aakre "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven. And on earth peace among those whom he favors!'" Luke 2:13-14.
During Advent we light one candle for hope, another for faith, a third for joy and then the Angel's Candle to remind us of the message of peace on earth that the angels proclaimed. In the past year I have reflected many times what prepared each of us for Christ's return. Are we following the course that Christ is asking each of us? What in your life makes it difficult to receive the Good News? Has anyone shared the Good News with you? How can you share it with others?
Last September my husband, Sandy, was running his annual physical training test for the Army. Half way through the run, he ruptured his Achilles tendon. He was in deep pain, but he finished his second mile on time. When he returned home, I could see he was in deep pain; yet, he would not complain and continued his work. Surgery was scheduled, but he kept going.
I said, "Listen, you don't have to be macho with me. I am your wife." He said, "You don't undertand." I wanted to understand and said, "Okay then explain it to me."
He let me know that whether we liked it or not, USA would probably be in a war with Iraq as well as in Afghanistan and he would be called. He also said that if a soldier was shot, they had three choices: 1) one could lay down and die, 2) one could lay down and hope friendly troops would rescue them or 3) one could grin and bear it and keep going and finish their objective � the course set before them. I understood what he was trying to tell me and realized that it would apply to our Christian lives.
In our journey to be with Christ for eternity, are we ready to finish the course? Have we prepared for the course? Have we taken time and asked Christ into our lives? Have we allowed pitfalls in our lives to keep us from following Christ? This is the Advent season and it is the time to reflect on the Prince of Peace. We may not always be peaceful, calm or relaxed this season, but we may know His presence will be with us no matter what we face. May the God of comfort help each of us this season and may God help us reach out to those around us that need a helping hand.