One of the best ways to prepare for this very special season of Advent is to “get in touch with ourselves.” It may sound odd, but one symptom of our contemporary lives is that we can often be quite “out of touch” with what is going on in our very own hearts.
We begin our Advent Season, just as our culture ramps up Christmas preparations (department stores seem to start earlier and earlier each year). It is a busy time, and our heads are filled with so many details, parties, and family to remember. And it’s a time of emotional complexity with all of the expectations and challenges of family and relationships: who we want to be with and who we struggle to be with. So, our hearts are a bit tender, if not completely guarded from experiencing anything deeply. We have little time to prepare for much other than the busyness itself.
As each Advent Season, the Sundays leading up to Christmas will be filled with powerful and stirring readings from Isaiah, the Prophet, and the Apostles John and Luke. We will re-enter the ancient tradition of a people hoping for the coming of a Savior – like the Hebrew people of the Old Testament awaiting the coming Deliverer! We may even remember the days of our childhood when we hoped for Christmas to come – where gifts and anticipation gave us a something to be excited about.
And as adults, we have to ask ourselves: “What is it I hope for now?” The answer won’t come easily. The more we walk around with that query, and let it penetrate through the layers of distraction and guarded-ness, the more powerfully we will experience Advent this year.
“What is it I hope for now?”
What a great query for this Advent Season. I pray you will join me in letting this query penetrate our hearts through the distractions of self-protection in the coming days and weeks. Find some space, slow down, allow your cry to be – Maranatha! – Come, Lord Jesus!
“Hope is the good news of transforming grace NOW.” – Brennan Manning
A Hope-filled Advent and a Merry Christmas to you! Pastor Bob+