Before Advent began this year there was a deep longing to draw close to God and sense his presence. From Thanksgiving to Christmas life has been a blur. An amazing, fast paced and event packed season that leaves me exhausted and ready to head south to rest. Every year I pray that I won’t just be speaking, visiting and raising last minute budget items to finish our church fiscal year soundly. I love doing those things. But there is more to this time of year; much more.
Advent has helped me to slow down and listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The prophets and the book of Revelation comforted and guided my prayers while we have grieved for the families of Newtown, Connecticut. The biblical passages predicting Christ’s birth have helped me minister to the sick, the families of those who have buried their loved ones, and those struck by unexpected tragedy. Surely The Lord was preparing in those quiet early morning moments for the surprises ahead each day.
I hope that there is a greater tenderness and gentleness to my spirit as I serve Christ. I pray that my messages are “fresh bread” from heaven and not stale crusts offered to hungry souls. I long to be a better husband to my beautiful wife. Wise dad to my children. Nurturing grandfather to my grandson. Godly and strong pastor to my congregation. Contributing member of our Downriver community.
Recently over breakfast someone said, “You’re different. There was nothing wrong but there is something different.” Oh I pray that I’m becoming more like Christ. After all he is the Good News of Christmas to you and me.
This I do know I truly long, perhaps travail is not to strong a word, for the coming of The Lord. If his first Advent was peace to men of good will how much more will the return of our Lord be.
How about you?
Has observing Advent made this season different?
Are you growing in Christ?
Do you long for his second appearing?
Let me hear from you.