“Advent is an invitation into intentional waiting and active preparation.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 30, 2023
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8, NIV
Ask any child and they’ll tell you: it’s hard to wait. Especially as we approach the Christmas season, children are already anxiously looking ahead to the festivities of Christmas morning, doing anything they can to will it into being and rush ahead to that glorious day! And while it’s hard to wait, it’s even harder to wait with purpose and intentionality.
In many ways, that’s the gift and heart of the Advent season: a four-week invitation into intentional waiting and active preparation. It’s possible to wait, even patiently wait, and still fail to engage in active and purposeful waiting. Yet Advent asks us, every year, to carve out space in our hearts and lives, making room to greet the Lord at his birth.
Though it is not universally true, in many parts of the world, Advent falls in the heart of winter. The invitation into self-reflection and alertness to our need for grace comes as the world itself is cloaked in darkness. Yet just as the light of Christ shines into the darkness of our world, so too does it illuminate and expose the darkness that lingers within each and every human heart, and it is this kind of alertness that you and I must cultivate over the coming weeks.
Undoubtedly, the holidays bring with them an increase in activity. Work parties, year-end administrative tasks, children’s pageants at church or school, gifts to purchase and wrap, meals to cook, on and on we could go. These realities cannot and should not be ignored. However, it is possible to navigate everything this season brings while remaining alert and purposeful in our preparation for Christ’s birth.
Consider small habits of faith that you can take on in this season. Perhaps you embrace a rhythm of stopping each day at noon to pray in silence for 5 minutes, simply to recenter on the Lord and quiet your heart. Or maybe your morning routine with the Lord is enhanced by an Advent-themed devotional, guiding you deeper into the themes of this season? Whatever it may be for you, don’t miss the joy that is found when we learn to wait with purpose.
Father, thank you for the gift of waiting seasons. Help us to embrace them as an opportunity for growth and a deeper encounter of your love, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Consider a new devotional habit or practice that you can take on for the Advent season.
King’s College, Cambridge: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
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