Written by Sue Kales

Advent – “the beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting. The coming of Christ”. (Merriam Webster)

I Love Christmas! The anticipation of the birth of Jesus and all that leads up to singing “Silent Night” with candles at the end of the Christmas Eve service. I love getting together with my family and friends, choosing the perfect gift for the right person, listening to Christmas music on the radio, watching Hallmark Christmas movies and all that is Christmas.

Then why do I allow myself to get so derailed with the weeks leading up to the “most wonderful time of the year”? The shopping, crowds, decorating, baking, Christmas cards to send, parties, open houses and to top it off, this year there are six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. My stress level is rising thinking about all I need to do to prepare for the holiday.

As I quiet myself, take a deep breath and pause to remember the “reason for the season”, the coming of Christ, I am reminded of a Christmas many years ago. I was recuperating from a serious eye injury. Our girls were young and it was a few weeks before Christmas. We still had shopping to do, gifts to wrap, get a Christmas tree, decorate the house and everything else that needed to be done to make Christmas happen.

The true meaning of Christmas shined on my family that year. We had friends and family jump in to help with all the details. Our church family came with cookies and meals and gifts. It was humbling to be on the receiving end of everyone’s generosity and I think of Mary and Joseph humbling themselves to give birth to their son, Our Savior, in a stable.

My prayer for all this Advent is to prepare for the “coming of Christ”. Whether it be helping those in need or just slowing down so we can enjoy the true “reason for the season”.

If you’ve missed any of our previous daily readings, you can find them all archived here. We hope these readings are helping you encounter God this season!