This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Advent day four: Wake up and remember that you are loved

Isabella Gomez is a Mennonite Latina engineer. She grew up in Brownsville, Texas, a town on the border of Mexico. In Brownsville she attended Iglesia Buenas Nuevas with her parents and younger brother. She is now a student at the Massachusetts Insitute of Technology hoping to study urban planning and mechanical engineering with a focus in sustainability and development. Isabella currently attends the Mennonite Congregation of Boston. 

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I spent my Thanksgiving this year in New York City. Huge displays of flashing lights, wreaths, giant Christmas trees, angel statues with trumpets and glitter adorned 5th Avenue. I went to take a walk there and peek into the elaborate shop windows and I knew it was all for the holidays, but the thought never occurred to me, They are preparing for the coming of Christ. My thoughts were more along the lines of, Corporate America is ready for more profit.

Perhaps that’s why we keep Advent around: We need to remind ourselves each day that the holidays should be about focusing on the love and forgiveness that Christ brought to us, and not on glamorous Christmas decorations.

I read through the Scriptures meant for this post and I thought that these are topics that I should be reminding myself of on a daily basis, and so I would like to structure this post as three thoughts that you should wake up and think about in the morning before you start your day.

1. “Lord you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.” Psalm 90:1

What does it mean for the Lord to be our “dwelling place”?

This is my first semester in college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and therefore I have been bombarded by work and adjustments. I have a great network of support, thankfully, but the days are long and sometimes it seems impossible that everything will get done. It is important for me to remember that God will not forsake me. God has been our dwelling place for generations, and therefore I will also be afforded love, rest, and shelter. As you go through your day, remember that no matter what you have to endure, the Lord is there to be your dwelling place.

2. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

This is extremely important for living life to the fullest. We are in a time of watching and waiting, and each day we should be focused on how Jesus came to give us love and forgiveness. We must live as if we have numbered days; this means that we live in the moment. We regard each moment in our lives as a blessing and something that we should never take for granted.

This idea is cliche, we are always told to “live in the moment.” However, it is much harder that it sounds, especially when we are preparing for the holidays. It is so easy to not even remember the month of December with all the planning we take on.

Choose a focal practice, something very simple, to bring you back to the present and remind you of your blessings. Mine is washing my hands. Every time I wash my hands I look in the mirror and remind myself that I am loved and that I am extremely lucky to have everything that I have.

Our days are numbered and we must live in the moment to gain a heart of wisdom.

3. “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.” Psalm 14-15

Wake up and remember God’s unfailing love.

No matter what, I always think of John 3:16 when I think of God’s unfailing love. Even though we may have said it more than one hundred times in Sunday school, it is important for us to remember that, “God sent his one and only son.”

Jesus came to show us what it was like to be selfless and loving. Advent is about remembering God’s unfailing love, and striving to love others the way that Jesus showed us. We are blessed and no matter what, we should all be satisfied with God’s unconditional love.

This was a long post, but if there is anything that I would want you to remember, it would be to wake up in the morning and do these three things:

1. Remember that God is your dwelling place and he will give you rest.
2. Number your days and live in the moment.
3. Be satisfied with God’s unfailing love.

Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna. Juan 3:16

Blessings and Peace,
Isabella Gomez

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