Almost every Christmas for 30 years of marriage, Dian and I have put up the Angel Tree at Christmas time. At the very top hangs our not-so-traditional beauty, Pearl. The loss of her halo, wings, and lute combined with her droopy, melted face make her an interested choice for such a spot of honor. However, she reminds us of an important lesson as she declares God's glory through the bags under her eyes.
With all the hustle and bustle of December, it is worth slowing down to prepare our hearts for Christmas. With that in mind, we have set up a special Advent prayer guide in lieu of our usual prayer requests for specific events. Many things may be vying for your attention, but we hope to help you pause and reflect of the richness of hope, peace, love, and joy found in the Christmas season.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I did what many expectant moms do—I waited with excitement and hope for my baby. I learned that the deep sense of expectant waiting that I felt during pregnancy had a name and a season in the Christian world: Advent.
Whereas Christmas is the fulfillment of God’s promises, the weeks of Advent are the symbol of our hopeful expectation of God coming to us to fulfill His promises. These weeks can teach us so much about what it means to follow God—in the best and worst of times.
The stores and online catalogs seem to think that October is the time to prepare for Christmas. Soon, shelves will be crowded with wreaths and glitzy tree ornaments. This used to annoy me quite a bit, but after a while, I finally realized that the stores are right—to some extent. October really is the time to begin getting ready for Christmas! In order to celebrate the Advent Season, church leadership must prepare even earlier. So, bring on the Christmas spirit! It's time to celebrate.