A Season of Preparation
We’ve arrived at one of my favourite times of year. Sparkly lights, huge twirls of gold ribbon, beautifully decorated trees, jingle bells, Santa's (some more believable than others). Radio stations are beginning to break out their Christmas playlists (I want a hippopotamus, anyone?). Christmas tree pop-up shops are beginning to appear. Secret Santa names are being exchanged.
It’s easy for me to fall into the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season- purchasing gifts, attending holiday concerts and plays, sending out Christmas cards, spending more time with my family and friends in celebration of the season.
But this time is meant for so much more. It’s meant for more than corporate profit, jingle bells and garland, cookies and stockings- even more than time spent with family and friends.
Our God- the King of Kings, Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords- is coming to us. Pause here and let that sink in...
HE IS COMING.
We, the weary and down trodden, can now enter into a time of joyful anticipation at the coming of our Saviour.
“Wait, what? A time of joyful anticipation? What does that mean?” I hear you say…
When I was younger my family called these few weeks before Christmas ‘Advent’. We would take time each evening to read scripture, sing ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’ and light a candle, a new one each week, to signal the approaching of Christ’s birth.
Our family traditions always helped me to be reflective and thoughtful, but I oftentimes would struggle with knowing how to carry the Advent spirit with me throughout my day, so…I hear you!
I should pause at this point and mention, many Christian traditions enter into Advent this coming weekend (Advent = a season set aside for spiritual preparation for Christ’s coming). However, not all Christian denominations recognize Advent, many have seasons similar to it though- seasons that are meant for reflection, repentance and heart-readying for Christ’s birth.
Here at TLC, we are going to be taking the next 4 weeks to prepare our hearts for Christ’s birth and we would like to encourage all of you to do the same. These coming weeks are an excellent opportunity to take a breath, to stop and be still before our Lord, to reflect on His word and let it sink deep into our hearts.
Remember: He is coming, to us. He is coming, to you.
We have put together a series of meditations that we will publish over the next four weeks that will look at faithfulness, hope, joy and love. We hope that these meditations will inspire you and help you to carry an Advent spirit of joyful anticipation with you throughout your day. To help with this, each meditation will contain a few practical ideas on how to serve and love those God has placed in your path.
We don’t have to wait until next week to get started though! We can start right here, right now. Here is a short reflection to get you thinking about how YOU can prepare yourself this season.
Jesus was the son of God, born into the family line of David. Despite His earthly and heavenly lineage, Jesus was born in a stable. The King of Kings made himself low, poor, a servant. “He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:6-7
This is the ultimate example for us. Let’s pray for humility and a spirit of giving- that Christ would open our eyes to see those around us who need our help. Let's also pray for ourselves- that as we set aside time to seek Christ each day He would reveal Himself more and more to us.
“Father, I want to prepare my heart for your coming. Help me to have a spirit of humility and a heart that wants to serve and love others. Help me to see how I can imitate you- emptying myself so I can most fully serve and love those you place in my path. Help me also, Father, to reflect and be still before you in these weeks leading up to your birth. I pray that I would experience you in a new and profound way this year. Be near to me Lord, as I seek your face.”
Prepared by: Mary Rose Jordan