Have you noticed there seems to be a Christmas frenzy going on? Of course it’s most likely due to the pandemic, which has caused people to be cooped up for a long time. Apparently people “need a little Christmas right this very minute…” as the song from the Broadway musical “Mame” goes. I think that’s why we’re seeing the flood of what I’ll call the “Christmas crazies” right now…tree farms selling out of trees Thanksgiving weekend, people lining up for miles and waiting for hours in their cars to see Christmas lights, stores running out of Christmas decorations, post office lines out the door…et cetera.
But does this holiday frenzy really serve us spiritually? I know I need to balance the joyful fun of taking my grandkids to see lights and get a tree and then decorating said tree and then mailing all my Christmas cards and then feeling exhausted…phew…with a little spiritual solitude. Some quiet time with God. This 2020 Advent in particular I feel provides an opportunity…we can’t be with others the way we want to be so why not spend some quality time with Jesus…the reason for the season?
This may be a challenge, especially for us ‘Type A’ personalities. I am not, by nature, a “homebody.” I grew up in a family of go-getters, movers and doers, adventurers, over-achievers, always on the go. I believe this pandemic especially has not suited those of us who fit in this category when it comes to being still. But fortunately we can look to the people in the Bible as examples of how to overcome this.
Take Advantage of THIS Advent…
1) “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
Let’s look to David who wrote the psalms; he seemed to be a Type A personality…he was often dancing and singing, on the run, taking action, getting things done with his slingshot…but he also was a man of God’s heart and often retreated to “listen” to God’s Word. We should do the same.
2) “Mary treasured these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)
When Jesus was born and the magi brought gifts…here was Mary, a teenaged girl who had just been on a long donkey ride, given birth (in a stable no less) to the Savior of the World as a virgin, been visited by kings from across the world…taking in everything in the moment, storing it up in her heart so she could remember later when pain and suffering would be sure to come. Take time to ponder the good…you will probably need to draw on it later down the road.
3) “…a voice crying out in the wilderness…” (Mark 1:3)
“John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People went out to him from all of Jerusalem and the countryside of Judea. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” Just like John, I think we need to travel into the ‘desert’ of our soul, cry out if we need to, and repent (which means to rethink) and be renewed, or have a new perspective so we can be ready to truly celebrate Christmas.
**Lord, help me to find time to be with You so that my heart prepares the way for Your coming. Please help me remain in the true spirit of Christmas. **