The season of Advent will soon be upon us. It is a time we set aside for contemplation, reflection and preparation for the arrival of the baby Jesus.
Of course, it is not lost upon me that there is so much more to do at this time of year. There are presents to buy, decorations to put up, Christmas trees to decorate and parties to attend. There are Christmas cards and letters to send.
Oh, and there is work. It seems at this time of year there are always so many things to finish before the New Year begins.
So how do we take time to contemplate the arrival of our Lord when everything is happening at such a frantic pace around us? How do we take time to reflect when we are constantly being bombarded by Christmas advertising? How do we take time to prepare for Jesus when we have to spend so much time preparing for our families and friends?
How? We can simply take a deep breath, decide what matters, and focus.
We can focus on meaningful and intentional conversations about our faith and hope in Jesus Christ. Maybe that conversation is in person, or a phone call, or an email. And the truth is, if we take time to focus on a conversation about Jesus we also are taking time to focus on the people we love. I suspect they will appreciate that.
Advent is also a time in which we can focus on prayer…just a few minutes a day. As we are about to celebrate the gift of Jesus to all of creation, why not take time to thank God? In our preparation for the coming of the baby Jesus we can prayerfully thank God and ask God to continue to enable us to proclaim the Good News. We can ask God to continue to support us and our work in Christ’s mission. We can thank God for loving us and our neighbors, and pray that we may love our neighbors as ourselves…for Christ’s sake.
Yes, we can prepare for the coming of Jesus by focusing on acting lovingly and kindly to our neighbors…especially those in need…as Jesus teaches us so generously to do. For as Jesus teaches us, because we see him in the hungry, the thirsty and the oppressed, we are to reach out in his name to serve those in need with gratitude to God for sending to us a Savior…at our time of need.
Christ’s Peace, Pastor Steve