It started a couple of years ago when Joe set up the tree only to discover that the top half of the lights no longer worked. Just as he finished cutting the old ones off and restringing the top, the right half of the center section went out... and so it went until my poor husband who never gets riled was ready to pull his hair out. Besides the fact that he doesn't have much hair to spare, this was not a pretty way to begin the Christmas season.
Since we usually try to decorate the day after Thanksgiving, Joe let me know this year that he would be putting up the tree to check on the lights Thursday morning. What could I say?
Things did go a bit better--he only had to run to the drugstore once for an extra string and that tree could light up a city block now!
I love sitting by the tree in the quiet and have to admit it's so nice to have all that decorating done. It's a good reminder that a little preparation ahead of time is never a bad idea.
Speaking of preparation, today is the first Sunday of Advent, an ancient tradition of the church meant to ensure that our hearts are ready for the celebration of Christ's birth.
Advent is a word of expectation, of hope, of a promise unprecedented in the history of humankind. It simply means coming and calls us to remember that we celebrate Christmas, not only because Christ came, but because one day He will come again in glory.
My prayer is that this mystery will captivate my heart as I move through this season. I know that I must be intentional in this, that I must plan ahead-- I really can't afford to wait until the crazy chaos of the season hijacks my heart. So, like Joe and the Christmas lights, I am taking the time to focus now so that in my moments and hours, in my heart and in my home, I am ever aware of the profound reality that Christ came...and will come again.
If you'd like to do the same, here are few things that might help get you started:
ADORE: this new Christmas album by Chris Tomlin is a wonderful worship experience. Click here to listen on youtube.
ADVENT READINGS: Click here for a set of Scripture readings for every day this month.
ADVENT WREATH: Click here for everything you need to know about how to make one, what it means and how to use it.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS DEVOTIONALS: I will be posting my devotionals right here beginning December 14th.
Have a blessed Advent!