Advent: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Happy December 1st - it's officially CHRISTMAS SEASON! We have some brilliant posts planned for you all on the blog this month, kicking off with a brilliant Advent post from Emma, on the biggest game-changer history has ever seen.
I love the month of December. The anticipation of Christmas festivities never fails to send me into an over-excited spin. Parties, log fires, amazing decorations, Boxing Day walks, more mince pies than you can shake a stick at and the list goes on...
In many ways, I am still like my 5-year-old self crawling behind the Christmas tree trying to guess what might be lurking underneath all the beautiful wrapping paper and ribbon. I spend the rest of the year dreaming of the smell of fresh gingerbread, and dropping not-so-subtle hints about new bags, or shoes, or both...
And in the run up to all the fun, God blesses us with yet another gift: a season of preparation.
The weeks in the run up to Christmas, advent, is in itself a really special time. The word advent means 'coming'. It's a time where we are actively waiting, and preparing for what's ahead.
So how can we best use advent as a time of preparation? Advent is an amazing opportunity to consciously focus our minds on who Jesus is and why he came. To pray that he would move our hearts afresh with the amazing news of Jesus Christ. To seek Him, spend time with him, praying and worshiping the one who gave it all.
It's easy to hurtle through advent, treating it as a time for ticking things off lists at the end of a long term. There are so many carols to sing, presents to wrap, mince pies to eat that it can be easy to lose sight of why it really is the most wonderful time of the year.
Let's make the season of advent different this year. Let's make it one where our number one focus is Jesus Christ. The fact that Jesus came to earth to dwell as a man, was born, died, and rose again is the biggest game-changer that history has ever seen. Through Him, all of God's promises are fulfilled. Through Him, was can have access to a personal, intimate relationship with the creator of the entire universe. And through Him, we receive more love than we ever deserved and can even fathom.
As Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians:
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."
This is my advent prayer this year: that I would set my heart on things above - on Jesus. I'm praying that my eyes would be fixed on him, not on earthly things.
There are so many ways we can focus on Jesus. We can read through a Gospel, meet with a friend to pray, find some songs that inspire us to praise God, drop some festive treats round with a neighbour or those in need, the list is endless...
Let's make advent all about Jesus this year.
Emma graduated from Cambridge 4 years ago, and now works in Finance. She said ‘I Do’ to the wonderful Luke last April and loves being part of Team Pendlebury! Emma's other passions include leading music at church, doing Pilates & eating salted caramel ice cream! She is so loving seeing God use More Precious to grow his kingdom.