His Kingdom Come website is currently running a series of advent devotionals. They are posting a new one each day until Christmas. This is the one that I wrote for today.. enjoy.
As we enter the season of advent, we can begin to prepare our hearts for the celebration of the Christmas season. Of course, in our materialistic culture it is always a great challenge to keep our focus as we resist the temptation to run around madly after the “ things of this world.” We have a choice and this is the right time to decide how we are going to spend this precious time.
As those who follow the Lord, this can be a very rich opportunity.. a time to prepare ourselves for a greater experience of His presence as we begin to focus on the Son of God in a more intentional way. Christmas is a consumer holiday, yet reminders of the Lord shine through into our lives if we are attentive. There are sights, sounds, and smells that may trigger memories from the past. For some of us this is a difficult time. We may be grieving as we remember those who are no longer with us. We need to stop and let the tears flow. It is important that we experience fully whatever emotions come to the surface allowing God to comfort us and fill us with hope for the future.
As I was preparing to write this devotional, the Lord gave me an acronym for this season. He often does this when I want to focus on something important. I love this method for remembering significant words and thoughts.
We are entering into a short season of anticipation. Looking forward to the new things that God is going to do in His time. We have the opportunity to search our own hearts and to examine our desires. It is a time to look deeply at our values, to set new priorities bringing our desires into line with His and preparing ourselves for the coming year. I love having this emphasis throughout advent and into the end of the year. If you keep a journal this is a perfect time to look through it and remember what has happened over the past year. Reflection and remembering are two important keys to keep in mind as we journey through this season.
All of these ideas are really stepping-stones to the ultimate goal of experiencing a deeper relationship with the Lord. We have an opportunity to examine our lives and to look ahead with joy, expecting Him to meet us in new and surprising ways. Even as I am writing this devotional I am filled with wonder that God allows us to draw near to Him. He sought us out and drew us in and now we have the privilege of seeking Him and pleasing Him. What an amazing truth that is!
My prayer for you during advent is that you come to your table on Christmas with a heart that is overflowing with gratefulness. If we use our time wisely over the next few weeks we will find ourselves filled with joy and peace on that day.
“Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3)