According to ancient lore, if you find the magical rock known as the Touchstone along the shores of the Black Sea, it will make you very wealthy. It is said you will know if you find it, because you would recognize it by its warmth. All the other stones feel cold, the legend goes, but the touchstone would be warm in your hand.
One man sold everything he had, went to the Black Sea, and immediately began picking up stones, hoping to find the touchstone. After some days passed, he realized he was picking up the same stones over and over again. So he devised a plan: Pick up a stone; if it’s cold throw it into the sea. He did this for weeks and weeks and it soon became a hurried and mindless activity.
One morning, after he had thrown hundreds of cold stones into the sea, he picked up another stone and it was warm in his hand. But, before he realized what he was doing, he also threw it into the sea. He had the touchstone in his hand and yet he had thrown it away. So dulled by his routine, he had absentmindedly tossed away his fortune.
The story of the touchstone can happen to us with Advent – if we’re not careful. We can look at these few weeks as merely a time of frantic activity, getting all the preparations done for Christmas Eve. It can become the same old routine. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. We can miss the power, the uniqueness, the sacredness of the season. Before we realize what’s happening, we’ve thrown it away, tossed it aside – missing the wealth of peace, hope, joy and love Advent offers us. Christmas has so much to give us, so much to teach us. Advent helps us get ready to receive the wonderful gifts of Christmas, especially the gift of Jesus Christ. I hope you will look over the Advent opportunities Princeton offers and find time to participate in them with your family. Invite friends and neighbors too.
Dear God, as we wait in hopeful anticipation for the celebration of the Christ child’s coming, slow us down and fill us with your peace. Allow that we would not throw aside any of the joy and love that wish for us during this season. Amen.
In His Word,
Reverend Dee Dee
(Special thanks to Dr. James W. Moore for the inspiration of this devotion)