I’ve been looking at the church’s December calendar and am a bit overwhelmed by all the opportunities to gather and prepare for Christmas. That added to my personal calendar makes me feel tired before it even begins! How does your December calendar look? As you look at it does it seem like you will never be ready for that magical day?
As I look at the month ahead, I realized I need to add another item to my to do list. And I realized I needed to invite you to do the same. I need to carve out time to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. It is so difficult to make that time, but I want to encourage you to join me. Instead of making a commitment we can’t honor let’s think of things we can do to prepare ourselves spiritually. For myself, I’m going to set aside 10 minutes every afternoon to be in prayer and meditation; I will attend the Advent Bible Study, and when I go out in the world I will look for reminders of the true meaning of Christmas. For prayer and meditation there are many options on the internet, there will be a class here at the church, and for the true meaning of Christmas I will look for acts of kindness.
The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians. During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. In the midst of our busy-ness, we need to make room for this preparing so we will have a Christmas that speaks not of all we did, but all we are.
Let us pray as we enter this season:
Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!” Amen. – Henri Nouwen