1. Focus on the Christmas Presence instead of Presents
Pope Benedict XVI addressed more than 4,000 people in 2012 about Advent with this statement: “Advent places before us the bright mystery of the coming of God's son, the great plan of God's goodness through which he desires to draw us to himself to let us live in full communion, joy, and peace with him."
Remember how you couldn’t sleep the night before Christmas as a child? The glow of the Christmas lights on the tree and the shiny wrapping paper danced behind your closed eyes. Who couldn’t wait to dive into the presents and feast on the delicious smells coming from the kitchen?
But then as you grew up, you began to trade the presence of Christmas for presents on your long shopping list.
Take some soul time and focus on your gift: the One who was laid in a manger who grew to be your Savior. Grab a pen and paper, maybe a journal and get quiet with God.
Ask Him what He wants to say to you. Ask him about the unfulfilled hopes that grip your heart.
Ask Him what He wants to say about the Gift He sent to you.
Ask Him about that wondrous love wrapped in the presence of Jesus.
2. Stop Doing and Be
November paves the way to “Christmas Walks” through downtown shopping centers, and calendars stacked with Holiday gatherings, work parties, Church activities, and even school concerts. Laced within all of the events are the obligations, to-do lists, and shopping.
This year, why not declare Advent as your season of being?
Clear the calendar, reduce the party load, and carve out time for you and God. Insist that this year Advent will be a period of intentional waiting; where your gaze is fixated on the empty manger pregnant with the anticipation of the coming King.
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