“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
As, I sit here in quiet prayer and contemplation, thinking about all of the Good in my life- and how much I want to celebrate a minimalist, spiritual Christmas…..and not get pulled into commercialism and consumerism, (like I try to avoid every year); it occurs to me that today is the first Sunday of Advent. In an effort to celebrate a Christ-centered Christmas, I am going to post one Advent related post per day. One uplifting post. Might be a Bible verse, might be a quote from one of my favorite saints of the past, might be an Advent related article, might be from a children’s book….I will change it up daily, but basically, from today until Christmas, it will be “All Advent- All The Time” on Missistine’s blog. That is my plan and I am excited about it.
I think Charlie Brown and Linus would be pleased……
I will be taking a break from my usual posts on social media. No weight loss selfies. No classroom antics. No discussions of world events. I want to focus on the reason for this season as much as I possibly can. This will be a daily discipline that I think will help.
The early Church observed a season of preparation, which came to be known as Advent. It is not in the Bible, then again, the early Church did not celebrate Christmas either. These were traditions that the people developed over time; traditions and rituals which drew their hearts closer to God and helped them focus on the meaning of the season. Advent became a time for the people to prepare their hearts to celebrate the miracle of the Incarnation at Christmas. Advent is a time of preparation. There is an element of penance and expectation, but also an element of joy. The Bible readings selected for this time of year focus on the coming of Jesus as a baby in a stable, but also on the future coming of Jesus as was promised 2,000 years ago…..
As you think and pray today…..ask yourself what you need to remove from your heart and your life to prepare to celebrate the miracle of Christmas….Is there someone you need to forgive? A way that you need to be more generous and charitable? A habit that pulls you away from God that needs to go? How will you make room for the coming of Jesus this season?
“Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”- The Book of Common Prayer
I invite you to share ways that you are preparing to receive Jesus at Christmas this year….Come along with me on this journey. I always love to take these spiritual journeys with fellow pilgrims….