O Come, O Come Emmanuel. This is the season of anticipation. Despite our culture’s best effort to convince us that this time of the year is all about immediate gratification and consumerism, as believers, we know this is when we rehearse the part of God’s story where he breaks into the world with a great light: Jesus, God With Us.
This season is called, “Advent” and is comprised of the four Sundays before Christmas which build our anticipation of the coming Christ. The four Sundays traditionally focus on the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love we find in Christ.
But hope can sometimes be overcome by doubt, peace by worry, joy by sorrow, and love by hate. It is not easy to stay focused on the coming Christ - especially in this season of shopping and busyness.
What will you do this Advent to stay rooted in the story of Christ? I encourage you to come up with a plan and execute it to the best of your ability to help you stay engaged in the story of anticipation. If you need help figuring out what to do, here are a couple of resources:
- Each evening carve out a few minutes to spend around a homemade Advent Wreath. My family started doing this about 10 years ago and it totally changed the Christmas season for us. The candles of the Advent wreath point us toward Christ with more and more light until finally, on Christmas Eve, we light the candle of Christ and remember that he is the Light of the world.
- Spend time in scripture. Set aside a few minutes each day to read these Daily Advent Readings. In so doing, you’ll find the story comes alive and the season is enriched.
If we’re lucky we get 70 or 80 Christmases in our lifetime. Through these practices your Advent and Christmas seasons will be even more special in meaning.