Advent Week Three
It is Advent Week Three and all I can say is—wow—Christmas has really snuck up on me this year!
This is about the time during the holidays when I get stressed out. No Christmas cards mailed yet—fail. A slew of presents yet to wrap—fail. No cookies baked yet—fail. You might be asking yourself, What in the world has she been doing??? And really, I have no idea. Running around like a chicken with my head cut off? Yes, that would be about right.
And I think that, every year, it is pretty much the same for me. Even with all the ornaments and such out at Michael’s, since early October, Christmas seems to come out of nowhere! I have decided that next year I am going to make a Martha Stewartesque calendar of holiday deadlines…so be sure to ask me then to see if I actually do it!
Anyway, in spite of all the sneaking-up-on-me Christmas stuff, Advent has been right on time. The best thing that has happened to my holiday season has been walking through Advent here on the blog, with my sweet friend Amy. We began by Waiting Actively in Week One and moved on to Preparing in Peace in Week Two. Then this week’s theme—JOY—is the one I have needed so much.
If it hadn’t been part of our Advent observation,
Joy might have slipped right by me!
But this year, I am determined not to miss the Joy. Because this year is the first time I have intentionally hitched my joy wagon to the one Person Who never lets me down. Advent has illustrated to me that Jesus really is the reason for the season! Here is what His coming (His Advent) makes available to us:
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
So, if you feel frazzled Christmas Eve, trying to get your kiddos in the car for church, remember how He has made everything beautiful in its time (Ecc 3:11) and don’t miss the Joy. And if you grieve a hard loss this year, remember you can find Joy because Jesus makes all things new (Rev 21:5). Our Savior came to turn your mourning into gladness (Jer 31:13). This gladness is not based on our circumstances, but on His loving kindness to us.
The difficulties of this life, big and small, they all show us our need for Him. They remind us that this imperfect place is not our home…that He has gone to prepare a place of us (John 14:2) and that He is coming back one day to bring us home (1 Thes. 4 16-17).
Advent looks back to Christ’s coming into the world as a baby, shows us that He has come to live in our hearts, and points forward to Him coming again…the three comings of Christ! Think of that—He Who came as the Baby in the Manger has made His home in our hearts and the Spirit of God is our constant companion until Jesus returns…amazing!
Never alone, never unloved, never forgotten…known, loved, remembered…forgiven and cherished. These are the truths that bring joy, no matter what.
Amy and I talk about that kind of JOY and Rejoicing on The Amy and Britta Show this week. You can view it here, or on YouTube. If the video does not appear, please refresh your browser. If you are reading this in your email, you will need to click through to the website.
I would love to hear from you this week! Tell me, what is bringing you joy this year? Or what has stolen your joy? I would love to pray for you!
Oh! BTW, in the video I promised the link to my new website. It is an online Lenten Observation that YOU can participate in, even if you don’t have a blog 🙂 The Meet Me in the Middle Project Go check it out and sign up there to be notified of when we are going to get things rolling!