Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I've been wondering how to do Advent and the Christmas season this year.  Every year, I want it to be meaningful.  It's a teaching opportunity for the kids, and it's a reason to open myself up to God in an intentional way.

But I also want simplicity.  It seems like a time to pare down, not a time to add more obligations in a month full of additional services, concerts, cooking, shopping, parties and events.  These activities are often meaningful and memorable...not sure I necessarily want to cut them out...but how to simplify?  (How to simplify life in general, not just the holidays--I am always wondering!)

I wonder what it means for me to look for Christ's coming, and to prepare myself, like the virgins trimming their lamps.  I want to be watchful and wakeful, full of expectation, not sleepy and lulled by the distractions of this world and especially of the season.

I wonder if a key may be found in this verse:

So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed in the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ--that's where the action is. See things from HIS perspective.  (Col. 3:1-2, The Message)

I wonder how, in the holiday rush, when it's so easy to be absorbed in the things right in front of me, do I see what is going on around Christ, see HIS perspective?  Christmas is so much more than just "the reason for the season" or a remembrance of His birth.  Christ came in the manger 2,000 years ago; He is coming again in the future; but He is coming now, continually, always, into the hearts and minds of those who are open and expectant.

Do I expect him to show up in the holiday baking?  At the Christmas pageant, at the Christmas concert, around the dinner table?  At the mall?  In the tree decorating?

How about when the kids bicker over the ornaments, fight over who gets to lick the spoon, or when flu takes us all on Christmas Eve?

I wonder if another key is found in this collect from the Book of Common Prayer:

Oh Lord our God, make us wakeful and keep us faithful as we await the coming of your Son our Lord; that, when he shall appear, he may not find us sleeping in sin but active in his service and joyful in his praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"Active in his service and joyful in his praise."  I wonder if the key is not in what I do to make Advent and Christmas meaningful, but in how I do it?  Whatever it is?

Eyes up, on Christ, where the action is...while hands bake, trim, wrap, purchase, light...with a heart to joyfully serve and praise?

I wonder.

What are you wondering about?

(This post is linked to Kerry's Nativity Carnival--check it out!)

(Also to Ann Voskam's Walk With Him Wednesdays.)


Kerry said...

I'm so glad you joined the Nativity Carnival! And I LOVE this post.

Jessica Snell said...

Oh, I really like that collect.