It seems hard to believe but next Sunday is the first Sunday in Advent. That means that Christmas is just around the corner. I know that many people dread Christmas because of it busyness and all its hectic schedules that seem to be forced on us from year to year. In fact, many may be thinking that there are less than forty days until Christmas and there is so much to do!
Yet in the midst of all the hub-bub, hustle and bustle we need to find a place for quiet contemplation. And this is the purpose of Advent; a time for us to focus on what Christmas is really all about — the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
How can you do this? By remembering what is of first importance; and that is Christ died for our sins. It may seem odd to say this while look forward to the celebration of His birth but there is one thing that we must never forget. The cradle of Bethlehem stands in the shadow of the Cross. This is the only way that we can properly understand the true meaning of Advent and Christmas.
Another thing that you can do is immerse yourself in the Scriptures and in prayer. One way that you can do this is through the use of a Lectio Divina which means “holy word.” What a lectio divina does is guide you in prayer using the Scriptures. Personally, I have found this to be a fabulous tool that has added a new depth to my prayer life. The one I use is entitled “Seeking God’s Face” and is published by BakerBooks in the United States of America. Examples of guides can also be found on the internet.
Remember as well that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” I know that this phrase is overused and trivialised but it speaks to a relevant truth– and that is despite all hustle and bustle that we will find ourselves caught up in we need to take the time to slow down, relax and contemplate on the wonder of the season. For it is only when we discover the “reason” that we celebrate that we will truly appreciate the “season” of Advent and Christmas.