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BY MISSY SMITH

November 22, 2020
Healthcare workers in Los Angeles on Thursday (Jae C Hong/AP)
Today marks the last Sunday of the Christian liturgical calendar, known as Reign of Christ Sunday or Christ the King Sunday. We now move into the Advent season, when we await the arrival of the embodiment of hope and love.

This week, Coronavirus cases surged in the United States, breaking every record set up to this point - via The Guardian.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. - ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:28-31‬
This week the Christian calendar turns its eyes toward Christmas while our country celebrates a time of Thanksgiving.  

This has been an exhausting year, friends, and in our weariness it is understandable that many of us are longing for the normalcy and comfort of holiday gatherings.

However, in order to love our neighbors as ourselves, we must be more mindful than this. We must do all we can to keep each other safe and healthy. This year, that means changing our routines, avoiding large family gatherings, and learning how to be thankful with what we do have. As former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden stated, “A Zoom Thanksgiving is a lot better than an ICU Christmas.”

Let us not forget that we have a promise that our strength will be renewed by The One who does not grow weary. Seek peace and renewal from the one who created you, friend. Seek wisdom when it comes to your holiday gatherings. And seek the next steps in your journey as we enter the season of waiting for our salvation in the form of an infant, an immigrant who will be born to an unwed teenage mother.
Let us not forget the ongoing runoff in Georgia. Their race is not yet finished, and we can all help to give our President Elect a Congress that can help him move his plans forward.

You can learn more about candidate Jon Ossoff here and donate to his election fund here.

You can learn more about candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock here and donate to his election fund here.

Do what you can for these races, and then give yourself permission to rest and to safely prepare yourself for the Advent journey.
We thank You, God, for the strength and endurance that You provided to us as we fought to remove Trump and his administration from power. We pray for a renewal of our strength as we enter into Advent. 

This coming Advent season, give us strength to seek and find You in the faces of those our society marginalizes. Give us strength to protect our friends and family from the virus that is surging across our country by changing our holiday routines in ways that show love, even if love means not being physically present with family this year.  

Show us the work that is ours to do.  Give us strength to do that work and then peace as we seek to give ourselves permission to rest.  

Amen.
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