December. My calendar is packed this month.
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, but I fear it will be here and gone before I even have time to process!
Advent started last Sunday. I will be the first to admit, before I read a million blogs about it last year, I did not really know much about it.
advent [noun]: The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important.
As it turns out, Advent is much more than pretty candles and decorative calendars. It is a season to celebrate ultimate hope.
What greater reason to celebrate? This is a time to reflect on the great joy of promises fulfilled brought to the world through Jesus, and also anticipation of and preparation for Christ’s coming again.
I read a post from Noel Piper titled “What is Advent?” that explains it well. She also cited 1 Peter 1:10-12 as an excellent depiction of this season. Noel also writes an Advent reading per day on her blog.
Heather Hendrick (you know, the family I feel like I’m best friends with that live in Haiti) wrote this post about how they celebrate Advent. She also included some seriously great Christmas decorating ideas in that post towards the end.. I’m going to try my hand at those too!
“Though it overlaps with modern Christmas celebrations, it is quite different. Whereas Christmas tends to be a season of noise and commotion, Advent is a time to slow down and reflect. It is a season to consider the first coming of Christ and patiently ponder His second.”
For those who learn by listening to music best, I cannot recommend this record highly enough by Andrew Peterson:
Also, I am pretty giddy because his “Behold the Lamb of God” tour is coming to Tyler next week and I get to go! I love how he tells the entire story of the Bible through his songs, and ties them together perfectly centered around Jesus. It is almost like the Jesus Storybook Bible set to music.
((I am sure there are countless excellent Advent resources out there, and if you have one to recommend, I would love to know about it!))
Everyone seems to love the Christmas season, but too often we get caught up in the commercialism. Even the “good stuff” makes us so busy that we forget to take the time to reflect. I know I am guilty of this. There have been many years that I do not sit with the Lord to study Christmas as His great story of hope until Christmas eve. I just don’t want to miss it this year.
So far in my young life, I have learned that each season gets busier. I remember not sleeping most of December in college, because of finals and Christmas parties and goodbyes. This week at my job was absolutely nuts. We are in the process of hiring 1200 staff in 2 weeks. I have friends with young kids, and surely I don’t need to explain how busy they are. I have friends with teenagers too, and the point is, life is not going to slow down.
The time is now. Take a breath, and celebrate. He has come. He is coming again.