Every year I wonder if Christmas will be different. Every year right after Halloween the Christmas music starts, the sales begin, and the preparation begins to consume us. Thanksgiving almost gets overlooked until its time to cook the bird and invite family over to eat. But even then, the gatherings split up to head out shopping to try and get the best deals on the latest things that we don’t need. I seriously get so frustrated wondering if Christmas will ever be different.
This year I almost protested doing anything that made me even think about Christmas until Thanksgiving was over. My family and I gathered with church members this year to cook and serve people who come to our Thursday night “Bridge” service. It was a fantastic time of trying to figure out recipes together, cutting up turkeys, and sharing what we are all thankful for in a big room filled with the fragrance of a classic thanksgiving meal.
I waited this year until the first Sunday of Advent to even put up our tree and decorate our house for Christmas. As I sat and looked at my tree, with my wife and daughter sleeping and my son safely back at college, I began to wonder. I wondered if Christmas would be different this year. What am I looking for? What is it about Christmas that seems to drive me crazy every year? It seems to me that the world around me steps into chaos for a month and being thankful disappears right after the thanksgiving feast. So I looked towards “ADVENT” tonight. I listened to the message about Advent at church this morning to find what I am “wondering” about.
Advent means “coming” or “visit”. It’s a time when Christians prepare for the coming of Christ. But how can I prepare for such a thing when the season appointed for preparedness is such a mess? So I wondered. I wondered if God could actually meet me in the mess of this Christmas season. I know that God can do wonderful things in the midst of confusion and chaos, but will He calm my struggle? Will He let me find Him in the middle of all the craziness? Or a better question for me right now is, will I let Him find me? God visited the earth a little over 2000 years ago in the person of Jesus Christ, and Jesus is coming back someday. I don’t want to be found frustrated and consumed in the goings on around me, but focused on the things to come. I want to be prepared to meet my King.
So I have made a choice tonight. I will find time to silence my storm so that I can see God at work. I will slow the chaos around me by praying for patience. I will turn moments of frustration into opportunities for prayer. I will continue to wonder about God. I will find moments of growth and adventure as I wait. I will be thankful that God has a plan for me, and I will allow myself to be found and forgiven so that God’s purposes for me this Christmas season will come alive. I will use advent to point me towards Christmas, and I’ll let God use Christmas to BE the difference in me this year.
I look forward to worshipping with you when we launch in January!