William Wilberforce, whose leadership helped end the slave trade in England in 1807, once said, “Prosperity hardens the heart.” With each passing year, the Christmas season seems to bring out some of the worst aspects of our country’s unprecedented prosperity.
Nine out of 10 Americans celebrate Christmas, yet far too few truly focus on the Christ. Instead, the consumerism of our culture capitalizes on two areas with which we all struggle – greed and selfishness.
Thankfully, our forebears in the Church centuries ago, as part of the regular rhythms of the liturgical calendar, developed a season to help ground the hearts of believers in the true message of Christmas. We call this season ADVENT. During the season of Advent we celebrate the first “coming” of Christ, as we also wait expectantly for His second coming.
Advent is celebrated during the four Sundays before Christmas through scriptures, readings, music, decor, and involvement by every member of the family.
When it feels like we are drowning in the overwhelming darkness all around us, Advent focuses on HOPE.
In a culture where people are becoming increasingly polarized in their disdain towards each other, Advent focuses on LOVE.
When we find ourselves tired and saddened by the state of the entire world, Advent focuses on JOY.
In the midst of the hectic busyness we endure during this time of the year, Advent focuses on PEACE.
If we find ourselves being drawn once again towards selfishness and the incessant desire to accumulate more and more, Advent concludes on Christmas Eve by focusing on CHRIST.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ~Isaiah 9:6
Posted on Tue, November 20, 2018
by Kim Hayes