Last Christmas, my husband wanted our family to participate in a fun advent adventure for the Christmas season. If you know him at all, you know that my husband LOVES making memories and is quite nostalgic. So, we purchased a "jams and jellies" advent calendar and had a great time in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day. Each night we would open a small door on our advent calendar and our 2 boys would taste the jellies and then critique each one for taste, texture, and what we thought it would taste best with - biscuit, toast, etc. We anticipated each night and looked forward to coming home from work and school to sit down for a few moments together to excitedly open each day's jelly. We tried some pretty "interesting" flavor combinations - some we don't ever wish to have again. We did have such a fun time as a family and truly looked forward with great anticipation for each new day and wondered what the next day would bring in the world of jams and jellies!
As children of God, we wait expectantly for so much more than the a new flavor of a sweet condiment. We await the return of our King Jesus. The word advent, from the Latin word adventus, means “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.” The purpose of Advent is two-fold: a celebration of the arrival of Christ, and an anticipation of Christ’s return.
"Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings
of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day
in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'"
Prayer Tip #47 - Rejoice in the Wonder and Joy of Christmas
If you’re anything like me, the days and weeks before Christmas tend to overflow with lists and to-dos. Instead of living in wild expectation of Jesus’ birth, I find myself in lines at grocery stores, shoulder to shoulder with other frantic shoppers at the mall, or endless scouring the internet for the "best deal". Yet, Advent beckons us to prepare for the arrival of a King who came as an infant in circumstances less than royal.
It is a time of anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Messiah and reflecting on the reasons we so desperately are in need of the Greatest Gift of all time - Jesus Christ. During this Christmas season, we look back at the story of Christ’s birth to prepare our hearts and our homes to encounter Jesus in the year to come. It is a time to harness the excitement and joy that comes with the Christmas season and allow it to influence and mold the way we understand God with us. Advent is a time to rest in awe and wonder of how our Creator loves us and the ways that love motivated God to continually pursue us.
Prayer Points - (Pray over these requests)
Thank the Lord for the wonder and joy of Jesus' birth.
Pray that the Lord will renew the joy of your salvation in your heart and mind.
Pray that your heart will rejoice in the wonder and joy of the Christmas season - the birth of the King of Kings.
Pray for that the Lord would remind you of the Greatest Gift you have received - your salvation!
Suggested Prayer - (Pray these words in your heart or out loud):
Lord, We come before You in the Name of Jesus and we worship You during this Christmas season. You are our wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. We choose to put You at the center of our life as we celebrate Your birth. Keep us from distractions and help us to invite You into all our activities - keeping our hearts and minds in wonder of Your birth . Thank You for being Immanuel, “God with us.” Open our eyes to realize this each day as we interact with others. Help us to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as You forgave us. Show us creative ways to love and care for those outside our home. Fill us to overflowing with Your love for the lost. Help me be a refreshment and light to others. We ask You to touch the hearts of those in our family who do not know You [Call out these individuals by name to the Lord]. Open their hearts to Your great love for them. Help us to share Your Truth and be Your light. You are the Greatest Gift I have ever received and I stand in awe of You!
In Jesus' Name, Amen.