Rev. Aleese Kenitzer
Rev. Aleese Kenitzer
Aleese Kenitzer serves as the pastor of Shepherd of the Cross Church in Muscatine.

Muscatine Living

Recently, I finally acquiesced to purchasing a new computer. For months (if not years) a friend tried to convince me that it was time to upgrade. As the frugal person I am, I held out, refusing to take the plunge. My computer was working “fine,” I told myself. Perhaps some things were beginning to irritate me and needed some improvement, but on the whole, my computer was running (fairly) smoothly. So, why make a change?

Well, upon purchasing a new device, it became clear all the things I was missing. It was faster and more efficient. It had double the storage and could connect to other devices without extra cords. Definitely a plus! Here’s the thing: I would’ve never known all that I was missing if I hadn’t taken the plunge to purchase something new.

In the grand scheme of things, waiting to purchase a new computer wasn’t the end of the world, but, it made me wonder if the same perspective could be said about the way we see our lives and our world. Some may feel as though the “computer” of their lives, or the “computer” of our world, is completely broken. Put in a purchase order for a new device pronto! For a good majority of us, I wonder if we live our lives based on the perspective I had toward my computer. Our lives, and the state of the world, is working “fine,” right? Maybe not in tip-top shape, but on the whole, things are running (fairly) smoothly. So, why do anything different? Why make a change?

Well, similar to getting a new computer, if we never allow ourselves to recognize that there could be something better, or something more life-giving, or something more just – whether in our lives or in our world – we’ll never actually obtain it. Now, don’t get me wrong: there’s something to be said for contentment, but sometimes, I wonder if we allow ourselves to settle for the status quo, when really, there could be so much more in store for us and for our neighbors.

Right now, many denominations in the Christian church are celebrating the season of Advent, a season of waiting that comes immediately before the season of Christmas. Certainly, it’d be easier to jump ahead to the glitz and glam of Christmas. Then, we could skip to the hope of the Christ child, and we could skip to the “newness” that God brings to us, and to all the world, in God’s promised reign of peace. However, if we skip this season of Advent, we skip the season of recognition, a recognition that even though our lives and our world are working “fine,” we could really use an upgrade.

So, as you prepare for Christmas this year, I invite you to reflect on your life, your relationships, the world around you, and your neighbors closest to you. On the surface, things may be operating at average efficiency, but with a bit of recognition, perhaps we might join our voices with all those who recognize that there could be something more praying together: “come, Lord Jesus. Make us new.”

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