Today Advent Begins

advent-devotion-calendar-2016Sun., Nov. 27, 2016

Isaiah 11:1-2: And there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

Contrary to popular belief, the holiday season didn’t officially begin with Black Friday shopping. Officially in the church, it begins today with the first Sunday of Advent. For hundreds of years, the church has practiced a season of preparation for the Christ Child in the season of Advent.

Why Advent? Well, just like it takes time for a baby to grow and develop before being born, Advent is a time when we grow in our faith and prepare for the Christ child. It’s a season of anticipation. Luckily for us, we know the end of the story. And while the Christmas story doesn’t change from year to year, getting our hearts ready for the arrival of the baby is just as important.

For myself and many others, Advent is a busy time of the year. Decorating, baking cookies, sending cards, shopping and wrapping presents … extra things that take time. It easily can become a time when we get so caught up in the activities around Christmas that we forget why we celebrate Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong. I love many Christmas traditions. I may even blog about a few of them this Advent. But I pray that I all do somehow reminds me of and takes me back to the first Christmas. And helps me remember why the birth if the Savior was such a big deal.

To help us be mindful of the reason for the season, I’ve put together an Advent Devotional Calendar. Every day, there is something suggested for you and your family to do this Advent. Most of these suggestions do not require lots of preparation. Many can be done every easily. In the morning or even dinner, the night before, read the suggestion for the day. As a family, think of ways you can do this. Then prepare how you will do it if advance planning is required. The following day, share your experience. And then do it all over again until Christmas Day!

I pray these little suggestions can help us be a bit more mindful this Advent Season. Please check the blog daily. I plan on sharing some ideas through Advent.

Lord God, we thank you for this special time of the year to prepare for the coming of the Christ child. May we be encouraged and find ways to daily point us back to You. Amen.

 Blessings –

Dianne

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