Christmas is such a wonderful time of year. Though our society has descended into a more commercialized form of celebration ($140 billion is expected to be spent on Christmas gifts this season), for the genuine Christians in our midst, this Advent season is an adventure, remembering our Lord’s First Coming, and looking forward to His Second Coming.
In our home we use the traditional Advent Wreath as a guide and reminder of this adventure.
The first candle to be lit is known as the Prophets candle. They, like us awaited the coming of the Messiah, the One who would set all things right in Israel and bring hope to those who look forward. So it is also known as the HOPE candle. For in the coming of Christ to redeem us from our rebellion against God and the destruction of ourselves, we need HOPE.
In our era there doesn’t seem to be anything to hope for. The deep depression running across our world is overwhelming. And this consumer–Christmas mentality saps most of us of our strength and wallets. In light of what could destroy us, allow me to suggest some ways to manage this Christmas season.
- Get yourself an Advent Wreath and 4 (5?) candles. Focus on the coming of our King into this world to redeem it and call all of us back to Himself.
- SLOW DOWN. Seriously. STOP running around. Wassail is good for this. So is a warm fire.
- Spend LESS.
- Value people in need more. Not just the poor, but the hurting and broken as well.
- Bake Christmas cookies together. Then give them away. [Well, of course not all of them.]
- Attend a Christmas Eve service at a church. Bring along some friends.
- Read the Christmas Story in the Bible (Matthew 1-2, Luke 1&2), Christmas Eve or on any Sunday in Advent. Kids in our culture need to hear it.
- Invite anyone who might be alone to Christmas dinner. Buy them a gift while you’re at it.
- Go Christmas Caroling with any group you might find. It’s worth it.
- Again, spend less, GIVE MORE.
On that first Christmas 2,000 years ago, Christ made it more about us than Him. I think we should follow suit and make it about the people who still need to acknowledge Him as Lord.
NEXT— ADVENT 2— PEACE