Dec 14 - Loss is Key


7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
— Philippians 3: 7-11 ESV


The season of Advent is a joyous time of year. That warm feeling comes about when we hear Christmas carols playing or when we make hot chocolate and watch Hallmark movies. We get excited about getting presents and eating all the food. When we think of Advent, joy ensues. When Philippians 3:7-11 is read, I doubt the reaction is very joyful. I do not know very many people who say, “This is fantastic! I am so excited to give up all these worldly possessions and suffer for Jesus!” During Advent, we think about all the things we are going to gain, whether it be possessions, love, or weight. We don’t think about counting all our losses as gain. These verses are here to remind us that worldly possessions are not the goal in life or in the season of advent. While everyone is going crazy in the malls and grocery stores, I encourage you to take a step back and think about these verses. Remind yourself that Christ and His sacrifice are the reason we celebrate, not material things. Be joyous in loss and suffering, even when it is hardest.


O gracious God, help us hide these verses in our heart. Let us be your humble servants and count our loss as gain. Thank you for sending your Son to be the perfect lamb, sacrificing Himself for us. May we remember that this season is not about the material, but about the Messiah. Thank you for everything you do for us daily, and most of all, thank you for your fierce love. In the name of the One who became sin for us I pray, amen.


Mitra Sarshuri is a sophomore religion and political science double major at Carson-Newman University. "I plan on pursuing some kind of career in ministry in the Middle East, where my father is from. During this season of Advent I am most looking forward to spending time with my family and being at home."