Can you remember a favorite Christmas present? Do you remember getting what you wanted or what you needed? The Christmas season seems to start so early these days. There seems to be a never-ending cycle of wild advertising commercials. If it is on the tv, radio or in the newspaper, online or just a wish list from your favorite child, there is an endless wish list coming towards you this holiday season. I remember going over the Sears catalogues with my sister and creating our wish lists. We would dream, we would scheme and we would wait. We had the waiting part down but we weren’t focused on the real reason for gifts of this season.
It’s so easy to get caught in all the dressings of the holiday season. We get caught in the pressure to find the best gifts, connect with many friends, and hit all the traditions. It can be easy for us to get wrapped in dread mid-December. We become weighed down by the pressures and the expectations we put upon ourselves, family and friends with what we tell ourselves we “must do” to make this season special and all it can be.
I am thankful for the four Sundays of Advent. I am thankful that beyond the advertisements there is an invitation to meaning and the heart of God. Each week of Advent invites us to pause, to reflect, to orient ourselves and our celebrations around what God is giving us as we approach Christmas. Advent is a season of waiting, a season of preparation and a season to watch for what God is doing and will do.
There are gifts to be had this season but they won’t be found in your driveway with a big bow on them. They will be unpacked as we approach Christmas Eve and the best gift, our Savior Jesus. This Advent we will explore each week a gift God has for us. We will unpack how they fit us and how then we can also give these gifts. These are the gifts your family, friends and coworkers really need. Hope, Peace, Joy and Love are more than we want and exactly what we need
Please plan to be with us this Advent to open the gifts our God has for our hearts, our lives and our world. May Hope, Peace, Joy and Love be yours this blessed season of Advent.