“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV
December is here. And that means Christmas is coming, soon. And that means busy. I am a list maker (partly because as I get older my memory sometimes fails me!). So I have lists for food, lists for gifts, lists for cards, lists for decorating, lists for cleaning, lists for lists. Whew, I’m already tired! I’m feeling more like a “Martha” than a “Mary”. How many of us are even now feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that needs to be accomplished?
Advent began yesterday, December 1st. Advent is from the Latin word adventus which means “coming”. Advent is the season where we joyfully anticipate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This year let’s decide to enter the Advent season with hopeful expectation, cheerful waiting and festive preparation as we welcome Jesus’ coming.
I want to inspire each of us to take some time to prepare our hearts for Jesus as we look forward to celebrating His birth. Let’s emulate Mary and choose the things that are important; sitting at the feet of our Savior, searching out the truth about Jesus, and writing His words on our hearts.
The world seems to have taken over this most special holiday. Commercializing it by encouraging us to buy more gifts (and more expensive gifts), to throw elaborate parties, to impress our neighbors with our decorations, to give importance to Santa Claus, and to downplay the real Christmas. That God loved us so desperately that He gave His Son, so that through Jesus we might be saved and have eternal life with God!
When our kids were young, my husband came up with a wonderful idea for all of us to joyfully anticipate the birth of Jesus and to keep Him at the center of our Christmas festivities. At the beginning of December, he and the kids explored the woods and collected small branches and sticks. They cut them to the same length. Then they lashed them together with leather laces to build a manger for Jesus. We placed the manger beneath the Christmas tree to remind us all that Jesus is our greatest gift and the true reason we celebrate Christmas.
This week let’s take back some time from our busy schedules to anticipate the marvelous celebration of Jesus this Christmas. And let’s prepare our hearts to accept all that He offers us; peace, truth, strength, comfort, healing, companionship, and salvation. Let’s remember all of our many blessings from last month and look with expectation and love toward Jesus.
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.