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Advent: “a season of expectant waiting and preparation fro the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus Christ at Christmas.”

Expecting. Waiting. Preparing. Things that we are not good at as humans, especially during the holiday season.

We are much more comfortable with hurrying, buying and planning. More, more, more. It’s much too tempting to be a glutton for excessive portions. We let our starving appetites get the best of us as we reach for anything and everything that will quench our thirst. We are all too eager to receive presents wrapped in glossy paper and satin bows. We aimlessly sleepwalk through this season and are always surprised by how fast it comes and goes.

Because it’s easy to look up from this busy season and completely miss it. Suddenly it’s a new year, and we didn’t even stop for one moment to reflect on what God has done for us in the past year.

It’s all too easy to focus on the gifts, instead of the Giver. 

But thanks be to God, He offers us another way. This season of Advent is one of renewal and rest. It’s a season of intention and peace. It is about anxiously awaiting the birth of a baby, because everyone knows a baby changes everything. You cannot look into those gentle eyes and not believe in miracles. And He is surely the greatest miracle of all. 

As Christmas draws near, may we reflect in gratitude for the miracle that is Jesus— the Son of man, divinely woven together in the womb of a fearless and obedient woman; the Son of God who came into this world to do what we could not do for ourselves, and then invited us into the eternal reward of His own sacrifice—the gift of Life. That, my friends, is greater than anything we can find underneath the tree. May we rejoice in the One who is the way, the truth and surely the Life.

I would love to challenge and encourage you to follow after the life of Jesus in this season of Advent. He always did things upside down and backwards from the ways of the world: when the world says “get,” He says “give.” When the world says “eat,” He says “feed.” When the world rushes around to the endless hustle and bustle of a season void of its namesake, Christ whispers, “Be still.”

Dear friends, in this season, let’s slow down a bit. Let’s spend less in order to give each other more— more time, more joy and more love. Let’s bless others with presence. And most of all, let’s take time to carve out a space in our hearts for our King. I hope you will await His coming with me in wholehearted expectation.

“Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough.” -Brennan Manning