Advent 2014 – Devotion 14

The last time I looked at a violent video game involving shooting, the images on the screen looked cartoonish. Yes, it was quite a few years ago. I recently saw a video game in which the players were going through the woods with a rifle leading the way. The graphics looked very realistic. Not like a cartoon at all. It was more like photography almost. That should be no surprise since there has been significant advancement in graphics technology. Things on screen look ever more real.

Though the violent games are a negative example, the technological improvement provides insight into the life of faith. We are born into this life. We make our way, learning, growing, forming new attitudes and opinions. We make choices. We face circumstances. When we choose to commit ourselves to following Jesus, we find our attitudes, behavior, and perspective changing in certain very specific ways. We find our world view, our perceptions, and our relationships morphing in ways that reflect compassion, justice, forgiveness, and self-giving.

With Jesus as our guide, we progress. We advance. We live more deeply. We see with more insight. Life becomes richer, fuller, and more meaningful. We feel closer to other people and to God. We find ourselves becoming more vibrant and clear and honest. In a way, it is like the advancing technology in computer graphics. Things become more real and compelling.

In this Christmas season, when we think about the birth of Jesus, we are reminded of how a baby completely changes the parents’ lives. There may be seismic shifts in the parents’ behavior and values. The birth of Jesus, the coming of Jesus into the world, the entry of Jesus into our lives, should re-orient our lives and lead us to life that is abundant, full, and real.

For reflection: Think about times that you have felt truly alive. Can you identify some of the ways that following Jesus has changed your life?

Prayer: We are grateful for the amazing abilities of the intellect and creativity of the human species. We pray to use these gifts for constructive, helpful purposes that lead to peace, not for violence, destruction, and war. May we have the courage to follow Jesus and to be changed by him. May we not be afraid to practice our faith more deeply and to advance toward abundant life. Amen.

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