Recently we attended a Phillips, Craig & Dean concert with friends. After singing the song You Are God Alone, one of the performers talked about the lyrics:
And right now
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone
He reflected how we all go through good times and bad. He invited people who were going through particularly tough times, to stand and he would like to offer a prayer for them. Slowly, individuals and small groups scattered across the auditorium began to stand. The leader then said, “Thank you for being brave and standing. Before I pray, I would like people around those standing, to stand with them, and put your hand on their shoulder to let them know we all stand together.”
There was a group of four standing in the row in front of us so we and our friends stood and put our hands on the shoulder of the person directly in front of us, while the leader prayed.
It was very moving.
At the intermission of the concert, the man in front of me turned around and thanked us for praying with them. He also explained the particular struggle the family was going through.
Isn’t that what love in Advent means? That instead of pulling back and focusing on the issues that divide us, that we stand with others. We show love to our friends, neighbors, and strangers – to let them know we haven’t taken the same exact steps, but we’ve all gone down similar paths.
So in this fourth week of Advent and on this Christmas Day, I reach out my hand, place my hand on your shoulder, and I pray that no matter what is going on in your life – the love of the Christ child reaches you this year.