Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Advent: A Time of Expectation.

We lit the first candle of Advent on Sunday. It is hard to believe that advent is upon us. It is a time of preparation- We prepare our homes for the holidays, we write Christmas cards, shop for the perfect gift, yet do we really prepare our hearts and lives for the coming King. I always loved Christmas as it brought a new season into my flower shop. Red velvet bows, pinecones and gold jingle bells appeared. Poinsettias and Norfolk Island pines waited to be dressed in reds and golds. Pine, Noble Fir and Incense Cedars arrived in boxes from northern states miles away from our South Texas shop. I decorated homes, churches and businesses, prepared holiday centerpieces and baked goods, and practiced the Christmas cantata at church. At times I felt too busy to enjoy the beauty that surrounded me. Christmas always rushed by so quickly that by January, I finally caught up with myself and felt that I had missed the holiday.
This year I find myself with a part-time job in search of something full-time. The house is fully decorated and I have been helping others to decorate for the season. I even made a fresh holiday arrangement for a chapel service. For the first time in years, my life is moving at a slower pace. Maybe this year I am called to slow down and seek the coming King. "Be still, and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10 or in another translation: "Cease striving and know that I am God". I will make a point this year to listen for the heavenly messengers heralding the good news of great joy. I will look for the star in the east that will lead me to the pressence of the King. I will draw near to that holy stable and experience the Love that came down for you and me. I want to listen, to see, to seek, and encounter all that this season promises. I am thankful for that perfect gift of love. I do not want to miss Him- Immanuel, God with Us. I want to honor Him and His birth. I want to encounter my Lord, who was born of a virgin, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. That is the Christmas that I seek. The rest is just dressing and giftwrap for the King. I pray that you are blessed in the coming year and that you may feel God's love this Christmas.

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