I will be doing several posts each week that have some Christmas /Advent themes. I hope these will be useful in helping your own Christmas season be full of meaning and purpose.
December will also have different posts on leadership and spirituality and maybe even a few more on the church.
I am using a devotional, God With Us: Discovering the Meaning of Christmas, edited by Pennoyer and Wolfe. It has a devotional for every day of Advent, six different authors, and, the main reason I picked this one is beautiful art that illustrates every devotion. (I was able to browse through the book at Hearts and Minds Bookstore in Dallastown.
The thoughts I will share have their origins in my own reflections on this devotional.
In addition, I have been working my way through the Ignatian Exercises and spent time re-visiting the biblical texts used in those exercises that are from the Birth Narratives.
Advent, the word itself (in its Latin origins), means - coming. It's Greek equivalent means "the appearance or manifestation."
So Advent is the Coming, the Appearance, the Manifestation of the Messiah.
Advent is God With Us - Immanuel (or Emmanuel).
I recently shared in a small group of colleagues, that Christmas is NOT one of my favorite seasons. It is not because of consumerism on my part, because I do a pretty good job resisting personal consumption... No, for me, it is due to the excessive busyness of this season.
Do any of you have this problem. There is just so much going on. Extra meetings, additional gatherings of families and friends, more things to do just to get ready for the Holidays...
And the "introvert" part of my personality just gets a little weary and wants it to be over.
Well, I am resisting this tendency.
I've decided to be more intentional about preparation for the Messiah this season.
I've determined to get in touch with longing and anticipation to prepare my heart for the Christ.
My early morning biblical reflections are a part of this preparation.
And my prayer for all of us is that we will each prepare the way for Christ. In the upcoming posts, I'll have some thoughts that may help you in your own preparation.
And my question is -- what do you do to prepare for Christmas? What do you do so that this season is full of spiritual life and significance? Let us know...
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International