Study: Is there anything in my life that is not ready for the coming of Christ? Do I have any unfinished or unresolved issues that I can address?
Pray: Ask the Lord for the help and strength to be truly present in the next few days. Gatherings can be challenging – what do we need from the Lord to help us live as followers of Jesus?
Serve: Is there someone who you can help who is not ready? Is there a way that you can support another who is perhaps struggling to prepare? What good work or kind word can you offer?
This weekend we make the final turn in our Advent season and prepare for Christmas this coming week. Here are some thoughts to consider as we make our final preparations.
1. What are my priorities this week?
– Is it things? (shopping, gifts, etc.)
– Is it safe travel?
– Is it people? (family and friends)
– Is it prayer? (or even the Lord?)
I mention this first because there are many things we WANT to be our top priorities, but we often find that situations and events can be forced upon us. We sometimes find ourselves reacting to expectations and lose our focus and perspective.
Perhaps a few moments in our own reflection (alone or with others) will help us remember why we are taking the time and effort to celebrate this coming week. The danger happens when we do not choose our values, but instead let someone else tell us what we are suppose to make important.
2. How will I spend my time this holiday?
– with people
– with the Lord in prayer
– at work (I fall in this category!)
Many of us must respond to events outside our control over the next few days: work, travel, and sometimes awkward situations with other people (a.k.a. – someone you desperately want to avoid). Time remains our most precious possession; how are we living the gift God gives to us?
3. What will be my attitude?
In then end there are very few things which remain entirely in our control. The weather can change in a matter of hours, roads and travel conditions can become treacherous, and situations can become tense, frustrating, and unhappy.
When we find ourselves less than jolly, how do we express it? Do we take our stress out on others, or do we take a deep breath and put our faith into practice (you know: patience, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, love, trust, etc…..)? Are we constantly reacting to life, or do we proactively choose how we will proclaim the Good News of Christ in our words and actions?
May this holiday be a time of rich blessings to us all!