Don’t Skip Over Advent!

Are you as shocked as many others are at how we rush into Christmas?  When I entered a store on Tuesday, September 4 (the day after Labor Day), I didn’t expect to see aisles of Christmas products, but there they were!  Wait a minute!  What about Halloween/Reformation Day, All Saints Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving?  In our rush to get to Christmas, are we going to skip all those special days?
Even more tragic, are we going to skip right over the Advent Season–those special weeks for getting spiritually ready for Christmas and the miracle of God being born in a manger just so he could die on a cross for us?  May that miracle of love never be taken lightly nor become routine for any of us.
I hate shopping, but I confess I joined over a thousand shoppers on a chilly Black Friday morning, standing in line hoping to grab a special bargain (and I did).  But as I waited and looked at the line–long before I got there and becoming blocks long as time went on–I was reminded of a recent, haunting Christmas song by Becky Kelley:  ‘Where’s the line to see Jesus?’  That’s the question she was asked by her 4-year-old nephew, Spencer, as he saw the long line waiting to see Santa Claus.
Maybe like me, you also have and will spend time standing in some long lines. but are we standing in the long line of saints waiting to see Jesus?  The greatest gift isn’t in the mall (real or virtual)–the real Gift is in the manger–and He is God’s Gift for every sinner.  As we get ready to celebrate His first coming, may we also prepare for His second coming.
Martin Luther wrote a beautiful Christmas hymn, ‘From Heaven Above to Earth I Come’ and one verse can be our Advent prayer:  ‘Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child, make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled, within my heart, that it may be a quiet chamber kept for Thee.’
As Mary, amid all the excitement of that first Christmas, found time to ‘ponder all these things in her heart.’ may we also, amid all the chaos and confusion of this Christmas, find some quiet time and place to think about, to meditate, to marvel at God’s great love for us in sending His only Son to be our only Beautiful Savior.
May God bless your Advent so He can better bless your Christmas!
God Loves You & So Do I
Pastor Bob