"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."
The Christmas season has officially begun! And, if your house is like mine, this is the time of year when your skills as a homemaker are put to the ultimate test--decorating, shopping, gift wrapping, parties, church and school pageants--the list goes on and on. And, we still have our regular housekeeping duties to do as well! Quickly, the joy of the Christmas season can turn into a stress-filled time--especially for us moms. We can feel burdened by the pressures to make everything "just right" for those around us. But, that is when we realize that we have become much too focused upon the "holiday spirit of this world" and not upon "the true meaning of Christmas."
Yesterday, we celebrated the beginning of a new Church Year and the first Sunday in Advent. It is always such an exciting time of year~ as it fills us with feelings of anticipation and hope as we wait on the "coming" of our Lord. The focus of the Advent season is the celebration of the birth of our newborn King, Jesus. Advent is also the spiritual journey of individuals, families, and the Church as we affirm that Christ has come, that He is present in His Church today, and that He will come again in glory. That is the importance of being in Church during this Advent season: it keeps us in the Word, and focused upon the baby in the manger--the One who forgives us and fills us with His joy and peace.
May we focus upon the manger as we enjoy all the sounds, smells, and sights of this beautiful season. Because we know that when our Lord comes--whether it is in the manger, in the font, in His Word, or in His Supper--He brings with Him "the good news of great joy," the greatest Christmas gift of all: our salvation. And, that is what Christmas is truly all about.
Dear Heavenly Father, We are humbled by and so thankful for the perfect Christmas gift you have given to us in your Son, Jesus Christ. Through the help of Your Spirit, may we focus upon Him during this busy time of year. Bless us with the joy, peace, and love that can only come from You. And, may we in turn, share it with all those we encounter during this Advent season. In Christ's name, Amen.