The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’”
What does preparing for Christmas look like for you and your family?
For me, especially growing up, I started thinking about Christmas in about August. I would start watching Christmas movies and listening to all my favorite Christmas music as soon as I possibly could. I couldn’t wait to pick out our tree just after Thanksgiving and fill our entire house with the scent of pine and cinnamon. This was the season I most looked forward to.
However, just as I grew up, I grew to appreciate the waiting that accompanies Christmas…which is perhaps why Advent is now my favorite season in the church year. Advent is filled with waiting with hope, waiting with wonder and mystery, waiting in preparation, all at once.
But sometimes for me, this time leading up to Christmas feels like anything but. Instead of quiet and contemplation, I hurriedly make travel plans for the holidays. Instead of resting and breathing deep the breath of God, I worry if the gifts I meticulously picked out will be enjoyed. Instead of waiting in the mystery of the season and using time to reach out to loved ones, I fill my time with baking and decorating my home. These things aren’t all bad; I’m excited to see family, I love decorating and I could eat my weight in Christmas cookies.
But what could it look like if we let go some of these minute details and instead, gave ourselves more time to internally prepare for Christmas? How might it look if we allowed ourselves more time for personal prayer, meditation, quiet and truly living into this time of waiting? What could God work in us as we wait this season?
My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things
that you bring to the one who waits…
(Canticle of the Turning)
Gracious and loving God, in this season of Advent, thank you for times of centering and peace in such a busy season. Help us to remember the spirit of Advent and to rest in your loving Spirit as we await your light to break into this world. Amen.
Written by Dana Rademacher