Thankful for Advent

With Thanksgiving celebrated, we realize the new month of December is before us.

With it getting dark sooner, our days seem to wind down earlier.

Mall décor has long told us that the seasons are changing.

Some people are “X-ing days off on the calendar” until Christmas — some have Advent Calendars with a special scripture for each day.

In faith, we have a chance to slow things down — to keep things in perspective — to focus on what is important, to create a sense of peace — to welcome Emmanuel into our world and our personal lives anew.

I AM THANKFUL FOR ADVENT.

I am thankful that we have a full four weeks to welcome greater light and life in places of darkness and death.  We have a chance to prepare a way for the Lord.  We have a time to hear the message God has prepared for our heart.

This is the hour to awake from “sleep” [Romans 13: 11-14] and to open our eyes to the beauty of the world around us —- and the life we share with others.  It is time for us to put on an armor of light — and to be a light of hope for those who walk in darkness.  Regardless of what others do, it is time for us to act appropriately.

I AM THANKFUL FOR ADVENT

We have a significant period of time to accept things that we are finding it difficult to accept.  We have time to come to peace with what is, so that when Christmas comes, we can sing, “Joy to the World” and mean it.  Maybe there is something going on within our family that needs to be seen in a different light — because I am powerless to change things.  Maybe there is need to accept the results of the recent elections — and to do the best we can with what will be.  We light one candle, then two, then three — slowly going from where we are to where we can be.

I AM THANKFUL FOR ADVENT

Now is the time to get PREPARED and to be PREPARED for the unknown hour before us.  We want to be mentally, spiritually, physically, financially prepared for what is before us.  Life is full of surprises — thankfully more good than bad.  We never want to have to say, “If only I knew, I would have ….”    This could be the time to get that overdue physical exam.  Now could be the time to make an appointment with an attorney and write that Will that we know we need to prepare.  Now might be the time to meet with that financial planner to set things up for retirement.

Now might be the time to go to confession and to unburden ourselves of something we have carried around too long —- why haul that stuff into 2017?  Now could be the time to turn off the news and to pray for the people in our family, to pray for our nation, to pray for courage.

Yes, I AM THANKFUL FOR THIS HOLY SEASON OF ADVENT.

Come, Lord Jesus.  Be born anew within my heart, within my family, within my world.  Help me, Lord Jesus, to hear the message you are sending to me.  Help me to always speak the truth, to be a messenger of peace.  May I never be the source of tension or division — but of unity and peace.  May I turn from wrongdoing — and turn to doing the best I can … one day at a time.

hjm

 

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