The Christian New Year begins with the first Sunday in Advent, this year November 27th. While Advent begins a new year, it also begins a time of preparation. The term Advent is a version of the Latin word meaning "coming". Advent is the time that the church uses to prepare for the coming of Christ.
For us, the four weeks before Christmas is a time of preparation, however, I do not think that the kind of preparation that we will be doing in the coming weeks is the kind of preparation the church had in mind.
We will be focused on decorating the house, hanging lights, shopping, shopping, and more shopping; preparing for parties, and the arrival of family or the trip to see family. There is hardly time to think about the true meaning of the season, let alone, prepare ourselves for the arrival of the Christ Child.
I invite you to be intentional in finding ways to focus on the coming of Christ. Here are some ways that we can be intentional about preparing for the coming of the Christ child. Attend worship during Advent. Find a way to give to others whether it is providing gifts of food for a needy family or spending time with someone who is lonely. Be a part of the Advent Study or volunteer at an organization that serves others. All these activities help us to slow down and allow God to work through us and in us to recapture the true meaning of the season.
Blessings to you and your family during this holiday season.