Sunday, November 30, 2008

Preparing your heart for Christmas!


The glitter, the tinsel, the decorations, trees, candles, stockings... the money we spend to bring Christmas into our homes... the time we spend getting ready for the holidays. Shopping, making gift lists, digging in attics, cooking, writing and mailing Christmas Cards, singing carols, standing in lines, looking for deals, wrapping packages, planning menus, mailing gift boxes, taking Santa pictures, going on candlelight tours, celebrating at parties, having 'dirty santa' gift times, hosting dessert or a festive open house or ladies Christmas tea. These are all the things that come to mind when we are preparing for Christmas.
I have an important question: Are you preparing your heart for Christmas? Are you taking time to be still in God's presence, contemplate the history of the coming of Christ and the future return of Christ? How much of what you are doing is about Christ? Is He the focus of your season... or just part of it?
Have you ever tried to prepare your heart with a family advent candle wreath? This Advent Guide, on the following listed website) is used to "reminded about the meaning of Christ's birth and become more excited about his coming in the past, in the future, and in our own lives."
This is an excellent guide to use for the next four weeks. Why not try a new tradition that puts Jesus in the center? Aren't we hopefully awaiting His second coming? Advent is Latin for coming. Maybe this year you can not only look back at history to the coming of Christ in flesh and blood (a man-God), but you can look toward His coming in all of His Kingly Glory! What a special meaning for Christmas.... rejoicing in His historical coming and anticipating His second coming!
We teach our children to anticipate the arrival of Santa (a make-believe story to make their childhood magical).... what greater joy is in teaching our children to anticipate the arrival of Jesus Christ (a true story to make their childhood and life miraculous)!
Share your Advent experiences to encourage others to try. Also come back anytime in the next foru weeks and share any current, real life events that happen in your family when you prepare your heart for Christmas with this advent plan. Also share any new ideas that you use in your advent candle time.
As with anything in life, be flexible and creative! It is not about the procedure or program but it is about your heart.
Tip: Hallmark sells Advent candles for $5. I bought mine yesterday! You don't need a wreath... just set up the candles and enjoy the time with God.

2 comments:

  1. While people are taking time to think about the true meaning of Christmas, they should also take time to pray for their pastors, the pastors' families, and church staff. This is a really busy time for them, and they don't get luxury of enjoying the season that the rest of us do. I know this from personal experience because my wife is a United Methodist pastor.

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  2. My brother and are reading a daily Advent book and e-mailing each other with our thoughts and feelings. It has made me slow down and reflect on Jesus more.

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