I just put up my Christmas tree. I honestly cannot remember the last time I put my tree up before December 1st. Last year, I believe I waited until the week before Christmas and the year before that I believe I blew it off altogether.
Historically, Christmas has made me weary. I want to celebrate the birth of Jesus and I want everyone else to celebrate it too. I don’t want it to coincide with shopping and sales and one commercial after another and one email after another talking about buy this, buy that. I really despise that part of Christmas. In the past, I have allowed the commercialism of Christmas to damper my thoughts on the holiday. I chose to withdraw and just kind of quietly coast through December, waiting for the New Year.
I believe now that in doing that -- by withdrawing I was actually moving further away from the true reason for the season. Not this year.
This year I am celebrating now during Advent and it is my hope that I will rediscover the beauty and meaning of Christmas. My church family is reading The Miraculous Journey by Marty A. Bullis during Advent in order to do just that.
The book is a collection of devotionals which takes us through Advent up to Christmas with scripture readings, guided reflection, prayer and space for journaling.
I’m looking forward to really celebrating this season in this way and not recoiling as I had done in the past. I have so much to be thankful for and even though things haven’t always turned out the way I would like them to, I’m still grateful. God is faithful and I know that what He has planned is far better than my own plan.
But for right now, my plan is to not even focus on that. All I want to do is focus on getting closer to God this season. I want to hear from Him the way Joseph did:
And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. (Matthew 2:13)
In the next verse Joseph did exactly what the angel told him to do.
See, that’s the kind of relationship that I want with God. I want Him to speak, I want to hear Him clearly and I want to respond quickly.
I want to use this time of Advent to sincerely seek God. To get closer to Him than I have ever been. I have been so distracted with so much stuff and I feel I may have lost my way a little. I may have lost touch with what is truly important. I need to pump the brakes and get a fresh revelation.
That is my hope for this Advent season.
What about you? What are you looking most forward to this season?