During Advent, we're meant to concentrate on what’s important, not the hustle and bustle.
Posted in , Nov 28, 2011
And now you have become living building-stones for God’s use in building his house. ... (I Peter 2:5; TLB)
At the pool on a warm Florida November day, my friend Paula and I were talking about Advent. Paula recalled that as a kid in Vermont, she spent Advent preparing for the annual Christmas pageant.
The grade school children memorized lines, polished their acting skills and worked on costumes so they could delight the community.
Paula remembers one year when the students were supposed to do various things to entertain the baby Jesus. Some delivered special gifts, one sang a song, a few danced. One little girl was asked to jump rope.
Unfortunately, as the little girl jumped up and down, her bloomers fell down around her ankles. Paula says the little girl just kicked them away and kept on jumping for joy.
Paula’s story reminded me of the problems that seem to crop up during the four weeks before Christmas. The season is supposed to be about preparing our hearts to welcome Jesus into our lives, but often it becomes a time of too much to do, too little time and too much stress.
Sometimes extra gifts must be purchased and wrapped when unexpected guests announce their impending arrival. Or maybe a new holiday cookie recipe falls flat. Or there’s a mess of broken ornaments when a little one (like my little sister years ago) knocks over the Christmas tree.
The very nature of Advent means it’s a time to settle down, take a deep breath and concentrate on what’s important. And when things don’t go perfectly as planned, I need to plant that smile on my face, sweep up the mess and keep on jumping for joy.
Lord, as the Advent season sweeps over me, keep me calm and enjoying the anticipation of an event so amazing it changed the world.