by Alyssa Robinson
In the United Methodist Tradition, the season of Advent represents the beginning of the new year in the Christian calendar. It is marked by the four Sundays leading up to the birth of Jesus, Christmas Day. Our hope is to use this time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. But if I’m being honest, I usually use Advent to prepare for the coming of Christmas.
My calendar books up with Christmas parties, community events and festivals, shopping, and traveling. I fully own that none of these activities prepare my heart for the coming of Christ. I’m sure I could find creative ways to force-fit Jesus into the things I want to do, but if I truly reflect, I know Christ isn’t my priority.
I’d like to change that.
Our Advent theme this year as a church is “Christmas Kaleidoscope.” The idea behind it is that God can take our broken pieces, shine divine light through them, and provide a beautiful moving image of love, hope, and grace for all people. The Christmas story is a kaleidoscope of God’s love for us!
I’ve already written a story about the ways I’m broken, but this Advent I’d like to focus on what I’ll refer to as “Kaleidoscope Moments.” I hope to prepare for Christ by examining my broken pieces and looking for the ways God has used them to create beauty.
I am broken through a difficult divorce, but God created a Kaleidoscope Moment when I could be there for someone I love going through the same circumstances.
I am broken in deep grief of my grandmother’s death, but God creates a Kaleidoscope Moment when I have beautiful dreams about her that bring me comfort.
I am broken when anxiety overwhelms me, but God reveals Kaleidoscope Moments by putting people in my path who love me exactly as I am.
In Sunday’s message, Rev. Daniel Humbert gave us the Greek origins of the word “kaleidoscope.”
kalos = beauty
eidos = to be seen
skopeo = to look
Maybe the most important element of the definition is “skopeo.” I want to experience the beautiful kaleidoscope that God offers this Advent, but I have to look. I need to seek the good works that God is doing in the world.
I hope you’ll join me in seeking out the Kaleidoscope Moments in progress this Advent. Let’s prepare for the coming of Christ together by witnessing God’s hope, love, and grace happening all around us.
God, please bless our broken pieces to form a beautiful kaleidoscope of hope. Amen.
Listen to this week's episode of the Life + God Podcast to explore the question, "How did Jesus's birth bring justice?" Rev. Doug Meyer and Alyssa Robinson explore some of the broken pieces leading up to Jesus's birth and how God used them to create beauty. You can listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.