Monday, December 16, 2013
1. The liturgical period preceding Christmas, observed by many Christians as a season of prayer, fasting, and penitence.
2. The coming of Jesus at the Incarnation.
When I look at our lives during the period of Advent, it's barely recognizable. Prayer? Fasting? Penitence?
Instead, we've been living in a Christmas-related tornado of stress: a rehearsal or event nearly every night, an 80-hour work week for Shawn (leading up to our church's Christmas musical), hours of shopping, wrapping, shipping, sewing, stamping, budgeting, fretting. My intentions are always the same: to simplify Christmas. And somehow, it never happens. It's ironic that the month we celebrate God's coming is the least peaceful of the entire year.
I'm trying to give us some grace this year because it's our first year with Shawn on the music staff at a large church. That changes things, and how we spend our time isn't always ours to decide. But as a whole, I am desperate to simplify. I want Liam to grow up loving the Advent season because it's distinctly different at our house, and not because it's stuffed full of sugar and added stress. I pray that it's full of Jesus, the great news that He came for us, and His peace. Because the reality that He is Immanuel, God with us? It changes everything.