Here we are. Another year almost gone and another Advent season upon us. While at first read, those two sentences may seem to sound deflating, they can also be the beginning of a grand opportunity. Let me explain.
Advent basically means preparation or to prepare. This is the time of year that we are to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. Now the thought that permeates this season is the “coming” we should prepare for is the coming of the Christ Child. However, that has already happened. What we are to prepare ourselves for is the second coming of Christ. We are called to take this time of year and reflect on our faith journey and our relationship with God. We are encouraged to ask ourselves a few questions. Are we as close to God as we can possibly be? Are we fulfilling the call God has placed on our lives? Are we at all times and in all places living out the model of Jesus Christ? Can people simply look at us and how we live and know we are Christians, disciples of Jesus Christ?
While none of us can possible answer yes to all of those, the whole no one being perfect condition coming to bear, we can hope and strive to be better this year than last. John Wesley understood the condition of original sin and its effect on humanity, but he still called for all believers to “strive onto perfection”. While we can never attain perfection on this side of life, we can keep reaching for it.
So…how will you spend this Advent season? How will you prepare yourself for the coming of Christ and seek to be that beacon of hope, peace, joy, and love? Personally, I read. I find an Advent devotional and I use that as my starting point to reflect and remember the Advent stories and the purpose of this season. I then move through quiet prayer time, speaking my heart and listening for God’s. There are many, even hundreds, of books out there that you can use. Other people find a mission project to become a part of and work with them during Advent. All of us are created with different means of expression and various ways of connecting with God, so take time to find the one that works best for you and then adopt into your daily routine.
I encourage you this Advent to find a way, to spend some dedicated time, and prepare yourselves for Advent. Do not let the hustle and bustle of this season, or anything else rob you of the opportunity to grow closer to your Creator. God is waiting. God is eager. So go to God and be refreshed, encouraged, and strengthened.
May this Advent season draw you closer to the one that loved you first!