How is it that a month has passed since my last post? The days are flying and I hear cries of "Slow down," "I need more time," and "There aren't enough hours in the day."
I wonder what the Israelites felt like while waiting centuries for the promised Messiah. I bet they were eager to have a few months pass by in a flurry.
As Christmas approaches I'm determined to concentrate on one day at a time and spend as much time reflecting as looking ahead. It's easy to get caught up in the culture's priorities. There were 178 emails in my inbox on Black Friday. About 25 of them were not from a retailer. I deleted them all without even opening them. By God's grace I exercised enormous restraint and ignored the many ads of promised value and urgent deals. It's helpful to worship (and work) at a church that is preaching eternal treasures over the temporal prized possessions of this world. I keep hearing the hymnal lyrics "Come quickly Lord Jesus" in my head.
I find that having made the decision to purchase much fewer gifts this year is allowing me to feel increasingly relaxed about "preparations" for the season. Spending time walking through an Advent devotional each day with the kids has become more important than decorating, making cookies, addressing cards, buying gifts or finding outfits to wear this season. Though admittedly there's few outfits that fit anymore and that's making the selection process much less time consuming.
Last night we read Mary's Magnificat (see Luke 1:46-55) her song/prayer of response after an Angel of the Lord told her she'd conceive a child as a virgin and that child would be the Son of God. Personally I'd have been completely freaked out if I were a young teenager who had been visited by God's messenger with the daunting news and responsibility of giving birth to the Savior. Mary rejoiced and glorified God.
It's good for me to watch the days leading up to Christmas with my eyes focused on the Scriptures instead of the advertisements. It enables me to give better gifts to those I love.