Dec 3, is the first Sunday of Advent for 2017. It is a season of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. We can think about Advent in three ways: the birth of the God-Man Jesus in Bethlehem, His “birth” in our hearts every day, and His second coming in glory at the end of the ages. It seems during this season between Thanksgiving and Christmas we tend to focus on the first of these three arrivals of Jesus and we skip over the “expectant waiting and preparation” to get to the celebration or we possibly replace the preparation time with other activities such as shopping, baking, decorating… there is a lot to be done during these short weeks. We may never realize what we miss when we choose not to prepare properly for Advent. And there are many different ways to prepare; Advent devotion books, Bible reading/study and prayer time. Many options are available and I’m sure we can all find one or more that would suit our particular situation IF we set aside time for preparation and ruthlessly defend that time to be used for that purpose only. I will be the first to admit I have not done this as well as I would like in past years, but I plan to make some adjustments this year. My previous post contained some thoughts about Ecclesiastes; chapter 3 tells us “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven…a time to weep and a time to laugh… a time to be silent and a time to speak. “
We will all have the same number of hours and days in this Advent season. The question is how we will choose to spend that time and what we will accomplish. I have many expectations for this Advent season. I think we will have times of weeping and times of laughing, times of silence and times of speaking, times to keep and times to throw away; and what I would like to do is cherish ALL of those times. That will not happen without some intervention on my part to make it happen; it will not naturally occur. I must intentionally prepare to cherish all of the times we will experience.
I think that’s what Elizabeth Barrett Browning conveys in the following quote:
Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware.
I hope you have a blessed Advent season; one that has some time set aside for preparation for the coming celebration and one that leads you to a new plateau in your life.