I hope and pray that this Thanksgiving has been/still is a special time for each of you, a time to be with and enjoy family, a time to stop long enough to “count your many blessings” and perhaps “name them one by one” as the old hymn says. Thankfulness is a wonderful thing to cultivate in our lives!
And now to the season of Advent, beginning this Sunday. Our theme for this Advent season is “Making Space.” How busy and how crowded our schedules get. How we rush from place to place…even more than usual! There are parties to attend, gifts to buy and wrap, food to cook, a house to clean, etc., etc. And sometimes we find ourselves the day after Christmas exhausted, frazzled, and frustrated that we seem to have missed Christmas!
Let’s engage in some “Making Space” this Advent and Christmas. As I wrote in this week’s First Words, let’s think of Advent as a time of preparation for Christmas—it is NOT Christmas, but a time to prepare ourselves, our lives, to receive the Christ Child. So, I encourage you, make some “space” each day for prayer…you can use the calendar from the church for prayer and for daily scripture readings. Include your children. Light an Advent wreath. Participate in the special services at the church, and invite a friend to come with you. (People who do not attend church are most likely to attend in December when invited by a friend.) Make space for Christ, for your family, for others, and you will find yourself saying “Thanks” not just on Thanksgiving!
Earlier this week I read these words in the introduction to “The Season of Advent” in A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God that have continued to resonate with me: “Our privilege as Christians is to receive the gracious gifts of God’s presence in Christ. Our task is to prepare for his coming so that we will not miss life’s greatest gift.” (p. 29)
The greatest gift ever given is Christ and the gifts of God he brings. Let us prepare, let us “make space” in our hearts and lives for these precious gifts!
See You Sunday where we’re “Making Space!”