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The Advent season has officially begun. The focus of this entire season is in the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ and the anticipation of His return! As I (Patty) dwell on the past and future, I plan to use the Advent season as a spiritual journey. I believe that Christ has come, that He is present in our world today, and that He will come again. I believe Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, and of longing for things to come.
Most importantly Advent is a time to stop, and a time to prepare our hearts. It should also be a time to wait. But wait for what you ask… Santa Claus, family gatherings, shopping, sales, gifts, or how about some fabulous food? NOT!!! As the Christmas story is told, we know we wait for a child born in a manger who eventually grows up to save the world. As the world would have it, we are reminded of this waiting as the Advent season begins. It is not a time to be rushed as many would have us do.
Advent is the season in which we prepare our hearts for what God has in store for us as we re-live the Christmas story and await His second coming. Advent should be celebrated as a time of joy and happiness as we await the coming of the King. It should be a time of Hope and a time to Love, a time of Joy which brings about Peace. Advent should be a time of preparation that is marked by prayer of humble devotion and commitment, prayers of submission, and prayers for deliverance.
God does some of his best work when we wait and hope for things to come, even if they look like impossible situations. Our hope cannot be in circumstances, no matter how badly we want them or how important they are to us. If our hope is only in our circumstances, we will always be disappointed. We should put our hope, not in our circumstances, but in God, for He ultimately knows best.
Consequently, hope is to live authentically amidst all the problems of life with a Faith that continues to see possibilities when there is no present evidence of it, just because God is God. Therefore, as we begin the season of Advent, let us not rush, but rather have patience to wait for answered prayer as we prepare our hearts for Christmas Day… which is the official start of the Christmas season.
I encourage you to use the next 25 days, to read and reflect to help prepare your hearts. Start with the following scriptures:
- Hope for what is not seen. Romans 8:24
- Set your mind on things above, and not on earthly things. Col 3:2
- Devote yourselves to prayer… being watchful and thankful. Col 4:2
- Search me o God, and know my ways, Test me and know my anxious thoughts; See if there are any offensive ways in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting. Psalm 139: 23 & 24
Happy waiting and reflecting!
Grace and peace, Patty Perez