Thanksgiving has passed. Christmas is coming. For many folks, this season will be jam-packed with frenetic activity. In between the special events, the shopping, the decorating, and the baking, how can you set aside time for physical and emotional rest and spiritual reflection?
Sunday, November 27, marked the beginning of the season of Advent. While I did not grow up in a church that observed this 4-week period, I have grown to love this intentional time of spiritual preparation leading up to Christmas. The word advent means “coming.’ The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of a child who would be a light in the darkness, a wonderful counselor, the prince of peace. Christmas is the annual celebration of the birth of that child – Jesus.
The traditional weekly themes of Advent are hope, peace, joy, and love. Recently, I learned about a set of alternative Advent themes that deeply resonate with me: waiting, accepting, journeying, and birthing. Don’t those four words describe what is happening in our clients’ lives? Their time at The Next Door is an active period of waiting as they begin the process of healing, accepting the reality of their addictions, journeying into lifetime recovery, and birthing a renewed sense of self.
What about you? What do those four words mean to you?
- What are you waiting for during this season of Advent?
- What are you accepting about yourself, your loved ones, the world?
- Where are you journeying during this season of your life?
- What are you birthing? What is God bringing forth in your life?
During this season of Advent, may you sense the presence and power and provision of the One who is coming, the One called Immanuel – God with us.