Advent calendar prayer and reflection for 14 December

Arkan Iraqi Christian refugee in Jordan

Arkan fled from Iraq where he faced persecution for being a Christian. 

“If only you had been alert to my commandments, your happiness would have been like the river.” 

Isaiah 48:17-19

Happiness is hard to grab hold of. It sometimes seems like the more we want it, the further it slips away.  

We can fall into the trap of believing that happiness is consuming more. Buying the right gadget, having a new car, looking younger, gorging on chocolate: all of these things promise happiness. But at best they are a quick fix. A short high, which gives way once more to dissatisfaction and a search for the next ‘must have’.  

In today’s readings we are given the answer – happiness is to be found in the Lord. Through listening to God and living in his ways, we will know true joy. 

Arkan is an Iraqi Christian. Facing persecution by Isis for his religion he fled to Jordan.  

“We can’t change our religion. Not for Isis or anyone. They sent a message – change your religion, send money or you will be killed. It is hard.  

"We lost everything but we are still happy. We have hope and faith on our side. We believe help is coming. We believe Jesus is coming.” 

This time of year can be one of the hardest to make time to listen to what God asks of us. We can get swept up in the shopping and the parties. But we are called to stop and listen to what God is asking of us.  

As we prepare for Christ’s coming this Christmas, may we be inspired by Arkan’s faith, to live as God calls us to.  

And may we all know happiness. 

Advent prayer

God of joy, in you all happiness is found. Lead me in your ways so that I might have the light of life and spread joy to all those who are struggling, alone or in need. Amen.   

Act

Take some time in prayer to listen to the Lord and prepare for his coming.

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