I love counting down to Christmas. As you can tell, I really get into Christmas. I love the sights and sounds. I love all of it. I love giving and lets be honest, receiving gifts. It’s just a whole lot of fun. The whole month feels like a party. It’s just hard not to feel jolly all the time. However, Christmas can be over commercialized. I understand that the stores make good money off the season. I purchase way too many beverages from Starbucks thanks to that special red cup… The true meaning of Christmas can get lost in all the activity that surrounds this time of year.
I usually do an advent calendar. The last few years I’ve used a homemade one that I decorated myself. It’s a tree with 24 drawers on it. Each day I pull a goodie out of it to countdown the days. My treat of choice is Candy Cane Kisses! Yum! Jeremy has a special peppermint bark candy in the drawers as well. The true purpose of Advent isn’t about a candy in a drawer. Advent is about a longing and anticipation. It’s about seeking the Savior. The greatest gift ever given is the reason we celebrate Christmas. It’s about God becoming man. It’s about God wanting a relationship with us, bridging the gap, coming to redeem his creation. How can you not long for a holiday with so much hope, so much love? We celebrate Emmanuel! God with us! We are not alone and we are deeply loved.
I’ve never been one to do Advent readings. Usually I have enough on my plate that I don’t have time (or I think I don’t) to add another reading into my life. This year I saw that one of my favorite authors, Ann Voskamp, had a Christmas book out. So I downloaded it (because that is how I roll these days, welcome to the digital era). I wasn’t expecting this, but it turns out that it’s an Advent book. 25 chapters all leading up to Christmas and what Christmas really means. There is a daily Scripture, a devotional thought and some questions to ponder and some action steps to do. Each day is short and simple. I’m finding it’s refreshing to read something daily that reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas. It isn’t just about Christmas music or Christmas cookies or Christmas cards or Christmas movies. It’s so much more. Something so much deeper. I didn’t plan to spend my Advent season this way, but I’m so glad that I am. It’s an unexpected blessing to my daily routine.
Here is a quote that really got to me yesterday, ” Wise men are only wise because they make their priority the seeking of Christ.” I pray that for me and for you. I pray that we would use wisdom and make our priority the seeking of Christ. There is nothing better we can do at this time of year and all year round for that matter. It’s all about seeking Christ. It’s all about looking for our Savior. Anticipating his power in our life. The hope that comes from a relationship with him. I pray that I would make him the first priority of this season. I pray this for you too. Seek the Savior and you will find that the greatest love story of all time can be your story as well. We are a part of the Christmas story because that baby came to earth for us. It’s not a tale from long ago. It’s here and now! These are just a few of the thoughts bouncing around my head today.