Advent is almost here and my favourite time of the year is fast approaching. Christmas. Emmanuel, God with us. Time to celebrate. Time to prepare. Time to make room for the reason for the season.
I love that during Advent our church sings “O Come Divine Messiah” and “O Come Emmanuel” in anticipation, holding on till Christmas for the holly jolly and Christmas is here carols. The wait makes Jesus’s birth sweeter and more meaningful.
In a way, it may seem somewhat odd. Shouldn’t Christ dwell in my heart every day of the year? Besides, the born in a manger story is over 2000 years old! Why would anyone prepare now for the arrival of something way back in the past?
I can’t explain how it happens. Getting ready for Christmas like it’s the very first time works wonders in me. I wake up every December 25 with outstretched arms and heart wide open to receive Jesus in a profound and humble way. Yes, the Light of the World occupies my heart 365 days of the year, but somehow I find there’s always room for more of Jesus.
As I walk through Advent I come to know and love my savior a little bit more. Focusing on the meaning of Christmas, I search deep inside the heart of God and pray mine will become more like His. I find myself thinking more of others and soaking up the goodness in people that gets magnified at this time of the year. I love a little better and give a little more.
I am so grateful for the many wonderful books and resources available to light up the Advent journey that leads to making Christmas merry and bright. These are a few of my perennial favourites for you.
…and two new ones from Ann Voskamp that caught my attention this year. I haven’t finished them yet but what I have read so far is so inspiring I didn’t want you to miss out on hearing about them.
Would love to hear what you do to prepare for Christmas. In the meantime, here is an Advent prayer we can say together.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Light of the World, shine in our hearts so we can be a light for others. Wonderful Counselor show us the way to love like you do. Mighty God, open the floodgates of heaven to help us build your kingdom on earth where peace, love, joy and hope reign.
Come Emmanuel, rule in our hearts this Christmas and always.
We hear a lot about peace on earth during Advent. It can begin by linking-up with Holley Gerth where she inspires us to “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” While we’re there I invite you let’s pull up a chair and share an encouraging cup of Coffee for Your Heart with others on-site.
Photo Credit – The beautiful picture of this winter scene was taken by a friend who prefers not to receive public credit.
Thank you Holley Gerth
for the Coffee for Your Heart image