"Advent is a time of waiting, of expectation, of silence. Waiting for our Lord to be born. A pregnant woman is so happy, so content. She lives in such a garment of silence, and it is as though she were listening to hear the stir of life within her. One always hears that stirring compared to the rustling of a bird in the hand. But the intentness which which one awaits such stirring is like nothing so much as a blanket of silence." ~ Dorothy Day
How are you preparing for the coming day, Christmas, in which we celebrate the birth of God's incarnate son? Sometimes it seems so hard to keep focused on the true meaning of this time of year amidst the distractions of consumerism and busy schedules packed with family get togethers and activities. All kinds of things during this season compete for our attention.
I suppose I should confess something. Up until this year, even though I've been a Christian for over a decade, I kind of let Advent pass by unnoticed. I, of course, celebrated Christmas, and recognized the miracle it aknowledges, but I didn't pay much attention to the days before. I always felt like Christmas came too quickly and that when it was upon me, it was nearly over already, and the true meaning almost lost among the hectic nature of the day. I always read the passages in the New Testament on Christmas eve talking about Christ's birth-that has especially been a custom since my daughter was born. But the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve really had no spiritual depth or meaning. This past year I've experienced a lot of spiritual changes and growth and have changed my perspective towards observing Advent, fully embracing the concept of preparing my heart for Christmas. If any reading this have gone about the Christmas season like I have, I'd urge you to reconsider. I feel this time of year can be a time of great growth spiritually and one can experience a deep connection with God during this time if one opens oneself up to such an experience.
Let's try to find moments each day to quiet our souls and let the truth and wonder of the miracle God provided for us, the miracle and gift of redemption by means of His son, to penetrate the deep places within. Let's open ourselves to the light, the truth, the saving Grace of God and find ourselves transformed and renewed during this time. With this renewel God will undoubtedly bless us with refreshed souls, filling us with a peace surpassing all understanding and providing us with a new sense of direction in which we can serve Him, bringing Him much glory, honor and praise.
Let's not fall prey to all the things that would distract us and take our eyes off our Savior. I know that's easier said than done sometimes. Especially for us parents that have to deal with the "santa" thing. But through prayer God can help redirect our heart's priorities and help guide us. Let's keep focused on Jesus this season!
Do you have a way that you have found prepares your heart for Christmas? That melts away the distractions and opens your heart up to Christ, to His presence, and to the real meaning of the season?...Please share if you do! :)