The Advent season is upon us. And as always, I am asking my congregation to journey through Advent, to spend some time with God preparing to again receive the Christ Child in our hearts. But this is a hard thing to do in a world of constant pressures. There are so many things to do to prepare for the “perfect” Christmas (as if that truly existed anyway). We all want to get the shopping done, the house decorated, the baking completed all before the 24th when we gather together to sing Silent Night with our lighted candles, which for some is the only “holy” thing done during the Advent season.
Now I am not saying our Christmas preparations are unimportant. We’ve already begun to decorate the house and have been purchasing gifts. We’ve even gotten the tree a week earlier than normal this year (although it is not yet fully decorated!). But we are also observing Advent. Each Sunday night we have dinner in the dining room and light the Advent wreath. We are striving to balance the busyness of the season with the needs of the family, and the needs of our own spiritual lives. We are taking time to be together doing fun things and we are taking time together to enrich our spiritual lives.
This morning my daughter got up early. She wanted to sit with me on the sofa before I began the morning duties of making breakfast and lunches. But that is my time for personal devotions. And so I asked her to join with me. We spent some time praying together and I told her some bible stories. We talked about John the Baptist and about Jesus. It was a special Advent moment, not because of a particular theme, but because it is a holy moment in anticipation of Jesus. It was a moment of preparing ourselves for the day – before the busyness set in. And it was wonderful.
As you journey through this month, journey with Advent. Spend more time waiting, watching and hoping. Open your hearts to God and see what happens.
And may the God of all hope bless you abundantly this season,