Many of us can remember the mandate that our parents gave to us the few hours before supper; “No Snacking!” The reason behind this command is our parents did not want us to ruin our appetite by filling up on sweets and junk food before supper so that we would not have any room for the nutritious meal that had been prepared.
The reason for sharing this memory now is that I, as a pastor, always feel like I am that parent during the Advent season. I feel like everyone is filling up on the
commercial junk that surrounds the season of Christmas before the season actually gets here. Therefore, by the time we should be celebrating the true gift that God has given to us in His Son Jesus Christ, people are worn out by all of the Christmas parties, music, and shopping. Seldom does Christmas receive the full 12 days which start on December 24th and go until twelfth night January 5th. Most people during Advent have stuffed themselves full of Christmas and have no appetite for the celebration once it arrives.
Advent should be a time for building our hunger for the good gift that God is giving to us. Instead of noise and commotion, we as the people of God should take time to be still and be quiet in order that we might prepare for the gift that God is giving us.
Now I am not naive enough to believe that you won’t be busy with a long list of
things to do before the day arrives, but I am encouraging you to take time to do the things that Christians have always done to prepare for Christmas. Yes, go ahead and decorate the house and buy gifts. But also practice personal devotions, light candles, and take time to appreciate what God has done and continues to do in your life and in the life of the world.
Worship at St. John’s will be quieter due to the fact that our organ is being restored and will not be available until after on in the season. But this is an opportunity to use our piano and also music and liturgy that is quieter than the normal. By the time the 24th arrives, the organ should be ready for the grand celebration of Christmas and our Candlelight services. But until then, let us take time to prepare our hearts for the great celebration.
In Christ, Pastor Mike