Advent Friendship Reflection, Day 17

For some of us, especially those who have experienced loss, stress, or trauma, the holidays can trigger lots of emotions. Some of us may be aware of our triggers. A few of us may even have diagnosed PTSD. When Jesus talks about the bonds in his community as among friends who are willing to lay down their lives for another, I hear him speaking in terms that those who have experienced trauma can understand. Whether they be veterans, victims of violence, or survivors of recent tragedies, there are those among us who may be able to translate what a bond like this actually means, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

As you prepare for the holiday season, are you aware of those around you who are grieving, or have experienced profound loss? Are you aware of your own anxieties and those triggers, especially when you come together in sometimes fraught family settings? As you celebrate the holidays, do you remember bonds with friends and loved ones who have sacrificed, perhaps giving everything, so that you might be safe, and even content? Most importantly, as you experience the stresses of the holiday, are you taking time for yourself, getting some much needed rest, and allowing your body and mind to heal?

Each day of advent, from Dec. 1 to Dec. 25, I plan to post a few thoughts on an aspect of friendship I learned while writing my book, Virtuous Friendship: The New Testament, Greco-Roman Friendship Language, and Contemporary Community, available on Amazon through this link. This will be a chance for me to share with you all a little bit from what I learned, while giving you, hopefully, a chance to take a deep breath during this busy season and do some reflection. Also, you won't have to secure another resource for Advent. I realize that you are all at many different places with regard to faith and belief, so use these reflections however you see fit. If you'd be interested in having me come speak at your church, lead a Bible Study, or even just Zoom or Skype in for a Q&A with a Sunday School class or other small group, let me know: doug.hume@pfeiffer.edu.

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