Advent: arrival, appearance, emergence, occurrence, dawn, birth, rise, development.
It’s that time of year again. Time to box up the burnt orange and brown harvest décor, the turkey salt and pepper shakers, the leftover turkey adorned paper plates and the Amish carved wooden pilgrims.
The new scene…a rustic Nativity scene; snow-flocked greens with red berries; a big sparkling tree lovingly decorated with years of memories dripping from its branches; miniature trees with lights; a lit up Victorian centered Christmas village; pine scented candles and countless Christmas knick-knacks I have not been able to resist purchasing over the years.
As the corncob door knocker is exchanged for a lovely bowed wreath, I start to think of what a well-oiled machine this holiday decorating has become and I feel a twinge of pride at my accomplishments. But something is missing. Ah, it must be the Advent wreath with candles. I must have put it in a ‘special place.’ Oh well, no time to find it before the first Sunday family dinner of Advent.
A smoldering of guilt is beginning to penetrate my thoughts. Could it be because our first night of the Advent celebration was basically a bust? I had substituted the five candle advent wreath for a much more beautiful fake crystal wreath around a single center candle. But that’s just ritual ~ not a problem of the heart.
To add to my feeling of spiritual discomfort, it dawns on me that I’m pretty sure we didn’t even discuss the coming of our Lord at our family dinner table on this first night of Advent. I immediately place the blame on being overwhelmed with my “To-Do’s” that conspicuously dot every page of my December calendar. And “Hey,” I say to myself, “it’s still only November. Let me recover from Thanksgiving for heaven’s sake!”
Funny… I see no person pointing a finger at me…nope; it’s just me being prompted by the Holy Spirit. I have started Advent and the celebration of Christmas on a shaky note. I was endangering a truly joyous occasion by my rote busyness and reducing this special evening to a hassle at best! I was putting the spectacular news of the birth of Jesus in the backseat when it should be in the driver’s seat. BUT… the God of forgiveness will not let go of me.
A smile comes to my face and my heart warms up as I think about what God has done for us. (Phew, He’s putting me back on track…wipe sweat from brow.) As you keep your priority on Christ’s birth during this Advent Season, remember to thank God for loving us enough to bring His son to walk the earth as a human. And remember as you are decorating, whom you are celebrating!
The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way. A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” Mark 1:1 – 3
A Prayer for a busy during Advent ~ “Father, I want this holiday season to be filled with light instead of darkness. Please help me discard my emotional masks and be real before You as well as my family and friends. Father, help me make this holiday season an offering of praise to You. In Jesus Name, Amen.” Mary Southerland “Turning Christmas Chaos into Christmas Joy” Girlfriends in God.
Monday Must See Video: Noel by Chris Tomlin w/ Lauren Daigle