Advent is a time of anticipation, preparation, and expectation. What are some things that you look forward to each year as you prepare for Christmas, and what are some things you would suggest that we all do in anticipation of Christ’s coming again?
For those of you who may be new to the blog, my name is Dave Good. Thank you for taking time out of your day to join us as we prepare our hearts for the Christmas season and more importantly, the coming of the Lord.
I have to make a confession, and my family would support this statement, I am not completely in the Christmas spirit yet. So, in the attempt to foster this, I decorated the majority of my front yard with hundreds of red and white Christmas lights and a vast assortment of inflatable devices while slowly transforming the inside of my house into the North Pole. I have to admit my Christmas spirit is emerging.
I am going to play the part of Captain Obvious and remind you that the year 2020 has been a really long and challenging year. We are enduring a world-wide pandemic. We have had to endure social lockdowns and restrictions. We have faced challenges such as social injustices. We are currently trying to finalize a highly contested election. The year 2020 has challenged us in just about every aspect of our lives.
With all that being said, I’d like to flip the script on the year 2020 and inject some hope into this letter. Geez Dave, now that you have us dwelling on all this adversity, how in the world are you going to do that? I’m glad you asked. Let me pull out one of most inspiring verses in the Bible.
Matthew 12:21 “And his name will be the hope of all the world.” NLT
Friends, this Christmas season is all about Jesus. He is all that we hope for and all that we need. Jesus came into this world as an innocent babe lying in a manger. His arrival caused joy to the world and signifies a hope to all mankind. I don’t care how bad this world gets. No matter how this world seems to fall apart. The fact is that we have hope to hold onto in the life of Jesus and His salvation on the cross. Our hope is solidified in the life of Jesus, period. He is all that we need.
That being said, I have a few favorite things that I enjoy about the Christmas season.
Time with my family. Christmas is one of those times where you just want to be home or go home. There is something about being surrounded by the ones you love. It’s a time to enjoy each others’ presence, a time to share a great meal, and a time to show others we love them with gifts and generosity.
Christmas cookies. I love to gather the family around and decorate cookies. My favorite is good old-fashioned iced cut out cookies. I don’t care what shape they are, just cut them out and top them with some icing and some sprinkles. The trick around our house is you have to eat them fast or hide a few for later.
Christmas movies. What holiday season would be complete without Christmas movies? Whether it’s Christmas Vacation, The Polar Express, or the wonderfully made and predictable Hallmark movies. There is just something about each one that lift your spirits.
Christmas presents. Who doesn’t like presents? I have to admit I’m really hard to buy for. Each Christmas season my family and friends ask for some ideas and I always give them the same response. “How ‘bout some golf balls and Buffalo Bills’ gear.” I’m just at a period in life where I really don’t have a lot of wants. What I love most of all is buying gifts for others. Christmas is a time to show others you care and love them. I love to see the look of delight on my kids’ faces or a look of appreciation on a friend’s face. It is so much better to give than receive.
Christmas is such a festive time of the year. We tend to spend several weeks preparing for the big day. I challenge you to approach this year in a different way. Make sure you take some time to enjoy the season. Take some time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Don’t get absorbed by the hustle and bustle of an already exhausting year. My prayer for each and every one of you reading this blog is simple. May this Advent and Christmas season be filled with love and joy. May the true meaning of Christmas fill our hearts and may Christ be ever-present in every family dinner, every present unwrapped, and every “Merry Christmas” we speak this year.
What are some things that you personally are struggling with in trying to prepare for Christmas while still feeling the effects of such a difficult year?
What were some things you like to do to get yourself into “The Christmas Spirit”?
It is easy to simply focus on the infant Jesus this time of year but Matthew 12 reminds us that Christmas is part of a much bigger picture. What can we do to keep both the cradle and the cross, Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection, and promise to come again, at the forefront of our minds?
This is meant to be an interactive blog so please share some of your responses with us.