The wolf shall live with the lamb,the leopard shall lie down with the kid,the calf and the lion and the fatling together,and a little child shall lead them.
Next to Lent, many Christians see the Advent season as one of the most important spiritual holidays celebrating a cornerstone of our faith, which is the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. As with most holiday celebrations, if we as followers of Jesus aren’t mindful, we miss the true intent of Advent as we become swept away in the bustling demands of family traditions, decorating, or buying gifts, rather than focusing on our Immanuel.
Regardless of what age or life-season we find ourselves in, we eventually become keenly aware of how fast we are living or have lived our life. We suffer from what’s called “hurry sickness.” There is truth in the phrase that life can “pass us by.” As I’ve sat through the first two messages in this worship series, I’ve found myself in deep reflection on how I’m spending my time, especially during this year’s Advent celebration.
So far during this season of Advent as I have spent time centering and pausing to reflect on the miraculous story of Jesus’ birth, I have started to unapologetically push back on adding more tasks or get-togethers. I am seeking moments of letting go of my schedule as much as I can in order to spend an extra evening with my family and the many people I love. I am noticing the time that I can spend with God, which reminds me to take care of the needs of others who are here with me.
I’m far from being an expert when it comes to spiritual disciplines, especially centering prayer. The little moments that I have practiced silence and reflection are helping me to not let this season rush by my soul. Essentially, I don’t want the fullness of life to pass me by—including an opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus. A true celebration as a disciple of Jesus is the pursuit of the opportunity to love and serve the people around me.
Jesus, as we push back on the demands of this Christmas season and fumble our way through silence and reflection, we pray that in those still, quiet moments You will open our minds and hearts to your Immanuel presence, God with us.
Written by Matt Clay