October 20, 2017

Celebrating Christ at Christmas: Observing Advent

It’s December already!! You’re probably already knee-deep in baking and shopping and decorating and hosting and planning and everything else that has to be done before December 25th…

But remember why we’re celebrating. 

Remember WHO we celebrate and worship, not just in December, but every moment of every day — our Lord Jesus Christ.

I don’t know about you, but isn’t it tough to stay focused on Him during this time of year? We get so busy, so focused on our to-do lists, that we neglect our quiet time with Him. We rush through our prayers and speed through our Bible reading, just to check it off the lists.

And so, over the next few weeks, I want to share some practical ways to keep Christ first during this busy time of year. Ways to focus on Him even throughout our normal activities, even while we write Christmas cards and wrap presents and plan for that one special Day a few weeks from now.

It’s possible. And necessary, even.

After all, what’s the point of celebrating Christmas, if we don’t take time to celebrate Christ? {<–tweet this!}

 

 

1. Observing Advent

The word Advent is from the Latin adventus, a word that literally means coming. In a general sense, Advent is a season of anticipation, of waiting for something that has been promised.

In a spiritual sense, Advent is a time of hopeful expectation, as we commemorate the first appearing of Christ, the incarnation of Messiah, and anticipate His future re-appearing. Advent celebrates the sure hope of Christ in both the past and the future.

What better way to celebrate Christmas than to spend the weeks leading up to Christmas reflecting on the reason for Christmas?

 

The incarnation of the Son of God,
“for us and for our salvation,” as the old creed says it,
is too big a thing to appreciate in just one day.

John Piper, Good News of Great Joy

 

Traditionally, Advent begins four Sundays before December 25 — this year, it started on Sunday, December 2. That gives you 24 days to focus specifically and specially on Christ’s acts of past and future redemption.

So why not do something different this Christmas season? There’s plenty of ways to observe the Advent season:

  • make an Advent wreath with 5 candles, lighting one each of the 4 weeks prior to Christmas, and one on Christmas Day
  • put up a Jesse tree, which incorporates specific Scripture passages and corresponding ornaments for each day
  • volunteer somewhere for the month of December, sharing Christ’s love  and reflecting His servanthood within your community
  • use an Advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas
  • read through a Christmas carol (from your hymn book) each day until Christmas
  • read a daily devotional or Bible-reading plan specific to Advent (for example, this free ebook or these Bible-reading plans)
  • visit a church during the week for special Advent services and Christmas programs (don’t neglect your regular services at your home church)
  • keep a journal of reflections, perhaps writing a prayer each day that focuses on the first & second comings of Christ

Whatever you choose to do, find some way to make this the year that you stay focused on Christ.

CELEBRATE ADVENT.
For if Christ hadn’t been born,
we’d have no reason to celebrate at all.

{tweet that too!} 

 

QUESTION –> Do you celebrate Advent? What’s your favorite way to observe Christ’s first and second comings?

 

For more reasons to celebrate, get in the Word every day!
Join me this week in reading more about your God:
Monday: 2 Chronicles 32-33, Luke 11
Tuesday: 2 Chronicles 34-36
Wednesday: Esther 1-2, Luke 12
Thursday: Esther 3-5
Friday: Esther 6-8
Saturday: Esther 9-10, Luke 13
Sunday: Haggai 1-2, Luke 14

 

Comments

  1. Stopping by from Tell Me About It Tuesday…love your ideas for the Advent Season! Thanks for sharing them.

  2. People do need to remember the real meaning of Christmas, Jesus Christ. Great post.

    New follower!
    http://www.myuniquegirlz.blogspot.com

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