I nestled into the pile of laundry on the floor. Pulled my legs tight into my chest, secured them with my arms, and then proceeded to gush tears all over them. Every year around this time, I find myself with mixed-up priorities and jacked-up expectations. As a result, I spent last Christmas in the closet crying for a large portion of the morning. I had put my hope in Christmas festivities and traditions instead of Christ.
This year, I’m determined to do it differently.
Our hearts are so easily lured and entangled by the glittery, cheap manifestation of the Christmas season. These things are fun and exciting- sure, but they’re a far cry from the original purpose of Christmas.
So what’s the answer? Swear off all “commercial Christmas” activities. Refuse to shop and decorate and partake in this American perversion of a holy and sacred remembering? Burn the lights and reindeer and presents in a pious protest of sacrilegious, pagan idolatry?!
Dear God, I hope not. If that is what you decide, may God bless you and keep you, but I’m not recommending pulling out the torches just yet.
I think there’s a way to keep the baby in the bathwater, (or in this case, the manger)? To keep our fun holiday traditions and joyfully celebrate the holidays while preserving the true reason for the season.
My way to realign our hearts with what really matters this season without giving up the fun holiday traditions that keep us busy? Glad you asked.
Okay okay, most of you have heard of advent- this tradition has been around since 380AD. But have you experienced it in a way that breathes new life into your bones? Have you given into its heart and allowed it to align with yours? Or has it merely been another thing on your holiday to-do list? Or maybe it’s just something your pastor talks about on Sunday for a few weeks and hasn’t yet made its way into your home.
What if I told you advent was a way for you to find the peace and rest you long for in this season. A time to reprioritize what matters this Christmas, our savior- King Jesus, without sacrificing the busy and fun of this time of year?
Advent, from the Latin word “coming”, invites us to do something completely counterintuitive for our culture: it calls us to wait.
While our hearts long for new comforts, idols, things, our souls desire something deeper and eternally satisfying.
If we only give into the impulses of our flesh this season without catering to the desires of our souls, we will walk into the new year feeling dizzy and depleted.
Advent slows us. It refocuses our attention from fake, plastic, LED and ornaments to real, tangible, wax and flame. It forces us to breath. To reflect. To remember what matters this holiday season.
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