Away for the Holidays
November 27, 2019, 12:00 PM

What do you do when you are away from loved ones during the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas? Do you volunteer at a local ministry? Maybe seek to be healthy and register for a 5k? Do you work your way through it? Or do you eat more dessert? Maybe plan a trip?

All these things are possible and within moderation are reasonable ideas BUT you and I both know it does not remove the thought of the person whom you are away from. Away can be used as adverb or adjective. In the form of an adverb it means from this or that place, to place something in another direction, to be apart. In the form of an adjective it means to be absent, gone, or distant.

In the Old Testament away can be seen in four ways. One in Isaiah 1:25 purging away to redemption is considered possible with obedience to God’s commands which leads to renewal. The second is in Job 1:21 where the writer makes sure we know that Job has things taken away and yet it states that he did not sin or charge God with wrong doing. The third is located in Ezekiel 18:31 in which God wants us to cast away our transgressions that we have committed against him. And last but not least, 1 Kings 19:2-4 where Elijah flees away to the wilderness.

  1. commands us to love our neighbors and so in choosing to volunteer could be away to be obedient. Seeking to be healthy and registering for a 5k is away to use your body for God’s glory. Being open to continual service is working for the Lord and casting your transgressions away as you seek to live into the calling God has placed upon your life. And my favorite is when Elijah breaks away, like on a trip, to rest and be feed. So, maybe dessert and a trip are good ideas? I think dessert maybe stretching it but nourishment is needed so seek to eat to for nourishment.

The last definition of away is a verb phrase meaning do away with, to stop, abolish. Jesus talks to his disciples about him going away. In the Gospel of John 14: 25-29 NIV

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.

I have a loved one I am away from today and my heart is heavy and the word, thought, and action of away is resting upon my shoulders. I also have loved ones that are away from me this year. It hurts, it is not easy, at times I wish I could skip the whole season if I am being honest and run away. But, you see I cannot. Not because I cannot physically run away or drive or fly, but because the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, is with me and I am still learning. What would happen if when we miss those that are away we prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide our time apart and for us to live into what God would have us do, instead of taking things into our own hands, failing to fix it, and remaining in away from what we need?


Almighty God, I pray for the away part of the Holidays. I pray for those who are away from their loved ones and those loved ones who have family away. Help us to see the guidance of the Holy Spirit during these difficult times. Let not our holiday time be spent wasting away from you. Amen.