I have high expectations for the Christmas season. Sure the decorations and presents and general merry-making contribute to my expectations, but that’s not what I’m alluding to. I have a huge fear that I will get to the candlelight service on December 24th and realize that I haven’t prepared my heart. While I shouldn’t allow fear to creep in, I do believe those worries are grounded in a pathetic track record.
I know my heart. No matter how much I say this season of Advent isn’t about parties and presents, I still seem to get swept away by things that don’t really matter. No part of me wants to live in a wash of worry and anxiety. I don’t want to finish this season exhausted and dejected.
So I’ve resolved to give Him my full attention.
Last Christmas our church walked through the prophecy of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 – exploring what it means for Jesus to be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
What I’ve come to realize is that this verse isn’t just a list of titles for me to memorize or print on an ornament. This verse contains truth about my Savior and God… truth that should radically shape my day-to-day life.
Either Jesus is more powerful than my worries, fears, or frustrations… or He isn’t. The way I live my day proves what I believe about his power.
I talked through this aloud with my husband on the way to finish up some shopping. I was frustrated… frustrated that I spend time in the Word, read my Advent book, pray for friends… and still end up so royally screwing this up year after year.
My husband was quick to remind me that God desires my heart more than anything else and that I can’t tackle each day with the hope of perfection… only the hope of dependence.
Advent is the celebration of when love came down to earth. So, I’m focusing on His love this year by meditating on the qualities of love found in 1 Corinthians 13. One description of love per day.
That’s how I’m choosing to prepare my heart, so that’s also what I’ll be talking about right here each day leading up to the big event. I’ll also be sharing some of my favorite Advent materials AND there might just be a Christmas give-away!
For now, take some time to read through Isaiah 9:6 and 1 Corinthians 13. Love has come and changed everything…
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14