Advent: the arrival of a notable person, thing or event. It’s here. The beginning of the celebration of Christ’s birth–definitely the most notable person we know! For the past three years, my dear daughter Elizabeth Haslet has created an interactive Advent coloring book. Each year focus’s on a different aspect of Christmas. It is an amazing opportunity for families to interact together with scripture, Christmas carols, recipes and places to journal your thoughts and make new memories. There are two pages for each day leading up to Christmas morning. Adding it to my December devotional time has helped me really focus on the season, instead of simply reading through the book of Revelation!
Day 1 is entitled an Invitation. She describes the joy of receiving an invitation to a birthday party, complete with anticipation, joy and maybe a bit of stress. But she includes a warning, if you will. But be careful. Please don’t miss out on the greatest invitation of all! To spend time with Jesus Himself. How awful to go to a birthday party and never get to spend any time with the birthday kid! We come because we care and want to be with our friend or family member. Jesus wants that too. He wants to spend time with you this Christmas. He wants to be in the middle of every decoration, event, food making, joyouse memories, and yes even in the messes and sorrows that can come at this time of year. He wants to be in the middle of all of it.
So open His invitation! Come and sit as his feet. Kneel if you want to, but let’s dedicate this precious season to Jesus. Let’s include Him in everything we do. As the bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray with out ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
My friends, let’s choose to celebrate this wonderful notable amazing Savior. Traditions are wonderful in building legacy and memories, but they can be even sweeter if we intertwine our faith in them. Ask Him for creative ideas, He loves to share. One year, on Christmas morning we spontaneously began giving “verbal” gifts and words of affirmation to each other. It has become a very meaningful part of our family sharing time since then. Christmas card writing is dwindling away–but when I send cards I like to take the time to write something personal to each recipient. If I am going to spend the time and stamps–let’s make it meaningful right? I know many take the time to find the right sentiment on the card they purchase and that is very special as well.
Sometimes, we might need to stop doing a tradition. I have made fudge for my neighbors for a few years. Last year one neighbor glared at me (he and his wife are now divorced) and another neighbor chose not to answer their door! It might have been a Covid thing. (A whole other story) I’m feeling a bit intimidated about this year…but we shall see. I think I was forcing a “good” thing, instead of a God thing.
We know He isn’t the newborn babe lying in a manger anymore. But that did happen and it is a good thing to celebrate his advent, but even more our relationship with him.