En-joying Advent

I hope last week’s post, On Joy and Interruptions, wasn’t a downer. The intent was to acknowledge and work through some of the feelings common to the season, but maybe the positives didn’t come through clearly enough.

Everyone finds their own way, and different circumstances impact our situations, but whether life in general is happy or sad, Christmas comes just the same. Not everyone was happy and peaceful in Bethlehem when God broke into human history.

Now that I’ve embraced the Christmas season, the joy is coming in. I still don’t like the commercialism and a lot of what North American culture adds and subtracts from the observance of my Saviour’s birth, but I don’t have to beat them or join them. I can be myself, present with the Lord, and enjoying His presence with me.

I encourage you to take a few quiet minutes each day — hard to carve out of the whirlwind, perhaps, but of great restorative value. Read the Christmas narratives. Or some of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. Listen to — truly hear — a Christmas carol. Sit with God and ask for His peace.

No, I’m not “ready for Christmas” in the sense of hatches battened down, presents bought and wrapped, cards mailed, freezer stocked with goodies. But I’m contented in Advent. And the other things will come in due time. My responsibility today is to not accept the anxiety, but to abide with God and to be alert to the gift ideas and other nudges that He will give in His own good time.

One of my top 5 Christmas albums is A Day of Glory, from The Austin Stone Church. Five and a half minutes of stillness to hear the words of this song will bless you. It might even set your spirit dancing: Hallelujah, What a Saviour.

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