There is a sense of anticipation when we are waiting for something – a birthday, a visit from someone special, a holiday, even waiting for your latest online purchase can cause a flutter of expectation!
Advent is such a season – preparation for an arrival that would change the very landscape of faith and relationship with God. Yet so many of us miss out on making the most of what is traditionally a busy season.
Even though I studied history at university and have an appreciation of ancient traditions I had never really connected with the idea of the ‘Christian Calendar’. The concept of using the seasons of the year and key moments of the Christian Faith (Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Harvest and Advent) to enhance and bring focus to life had somehow passed me by.
Using an Advent devotional one year changed all that. Suddenly this busy season became an opportunity to connect with the story of God’s incarnation in a whole new way.
Each day as I paused to read and pray, as I explored afresh the stories of characters who are in danger of becoming caricatures, God spoke and revealed, he refreshed and renewed. This isn’t just a story. This is His story and it makes a difference to my story – right now.
As I reflected and felt challenged by this picture of generous love, Jesus Immanuel, I was inspired me to be more generous with those around me. This account of supernatural encounters caused me to invite the Holy Spirit into more of my daily life and made me bolder in my prayers.
What about you? Are you so ‘familiar’ with the Nativity account that it’s lost its impact to change and challenge you? Are you making time for it?
At the church I serve in December is a mad month – a month of mission! People in our community connect with the joy and fun of Christmas and it is an incredible opportunity for us to share God’s love in word and deed. We are privileged to connect with so many people in this month and we gear ourselves up to make the most of it. The challenge is to keep our eyes on Jesus through it all. Anyone else resonate with that?
I’ve found Advent devotionals, creative Advent prayer and taking some moments to pause with gratitude enable us to do that better.
Why not make the most of the season? Intentionally set time and space aside to delve deeper in prayer and bible reading to the advent of our Saviour and Messiah. May the story of his arrival inspire in you a fresh love and generosity.