Advent: A Time To Treasure and Adore
This year, I don't want Advent to pass me by before I've searched for the joys to be found in this season of hoping, waiting and preparation.
Over the past few years, Advent has been increasingly dominated by the relentless accumulation of early starts and late nights; as the period I so often forget the significance of, as I rush between carol services and try to fit all the December parties, present-shopping and To Do lists in before the 25th.
Aside from the daily morning chocolate behind the window (or the 24 different members of the robin family, if you share my chocolate calendar deprived childhood)...I know that Advent is a season that I can invest in more, to share in a glimpse of the wonder of that First Christmas. Shall we go deeper?
Advent: the season to adore Him
Advent is all about arrival; the arrival of God's precious Son; the Saviour who would one day give His life to give us eternal life - the greatest gift of all. Where does this leave us, in a season full of our own gift-giving?
It teaches us to remember this Ultimate Gift above the chaos and distraction of everything else in our lives. It puts Christmas in the bittersweet context of thanksgiving and wonder, as we remember just how much we need our Saviour, and how great God's love for us is. Our response to the love poured out for us can only be that we turn our hearts to Him. Throughout every season of our lives, we are called to pursue Christ in adoration.
So, let's tune our hearts with the song of that First Christmas; just as the Wise Men and the Shepherds and the Angels pursued Jesus, to worship and adore Him.
Isn't it sad that of all times, this season is perhaps one of the times we are most susceptible to being distracted by things, while forgetting to first adore Him? It's incredibly humbling to really read the Christmas story and realise how captivating the birth of Jesus was. Those who come to adore Him, have to come. They are captivated by their Saviour! They are filled with joy and adoration for the One they are pursuing. Is this a true reflection of the state of our hearts now?
Speaking for myself, I know I find it hard to keep devoting myself to Jesus amidst the distractions and chaos of today's commercial and glitzy Christmas. So I've been trying to follow the example of Mary in the verse below - one of my favourite verses - an insight into Mary's heart, and her approach to the happenings of that First Christmas:
"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19)
Mary treasured up the details of this First Christmas and stored them in her heart, allowing her to return to wonder again and again. She recognised that the coming of Jesus to Earth is an act of love that transcends all times and seasons. That this is a joy not purely for times of comfort and happiness, but a song for the desert-place, a lifeline in the seasons of confusion and pain. As we store up evidence of God's love and goodness through the coming of Jesus, we fill our minds with His ways, making Him the reason behind our decisions, the context to our lifestyle.
So, I'm going to be returning to the pages of the Christmas story this Advent season, working to reinvest this truth in my heart so that I might be adoring Jesus above everything else. I'm going to be starting each day of Advent by turning to a state of adoration, seeking out the treasures of the Christmas story and storing them in my heart.
“Is not my word like fire, says the Lord!” (Jeremiah 23:29)
Gather around that fire this Advent season. It is warm. It is sparkling with colours of grace. It is healing for a thousand hurts. It is light for dark nights. (John Piper)
Written by Lucy