Wednesday, December 1

Keeping Christ in Christmas- Dec. 1.

How do you keep Christ in Christmas? That's the question I asked myself recently. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the worldliness of the season that Christmas can come, go and be gone. I don't want it to be that way. I want to see Jesus this Christmas. I want to be mindful of Him in each day. So here's what I decided to do on Joy Treasure this December. I'm going to write about how I am seeking to keep Christ at the center of the season.

For my first post, I want to talk about why it's important to celebrate Advent.What does it do for you, for your family to make it a part of your Christmas season? Being a good ole' Southern Baptist, I didn't grow up celebrating advent nor did I know what it meant. In my present church, we light a candle each Sunday in December. This was my first introduction to the advent season and every year, I look forward to observing it with my church family every Sunday.

Advent is simply preparing your heart for for Christmas. It's reflecting on Christ each Sunday and the days in between until Christmas morning.

What does the word 'advent' mean? Where did the word originate from?

The most important arrival the world has ever known was the arrival of Jesus, "Emmanuel, God with us." Advent celebrates the first "coming" of Christ,  the first arrival of our Savior and LORD more than 2000 years ago. But it's also an anticipation of His second coming too. It's a time to prepare our hearts to remember His coming but also to expectantly await His second coming. So it's looking back and a looking forward at all Christ has done for us through salvation. It's more than observing a few weeks on the calendar. It's a mindset. An attitude. A way of living. I want to be continually considering the coming of Christ as I go about my daily routine of keeping house, running errands, raising children, growing a marriage, etc. I want to be thinking about the life-light Jesus brought into a dark world. To think about how He lights up my little world each new day.

I could talk about more of the history of Advent today but I'm not. I want us to think about the word "come." Christ has come. He will come again. He came for us, (sinners against God) to live, die, be buried and rise again so we could know eternal life.  Are we coming close to Him in our daily living?

Advent officially in 2010 has already begun this past Sunday. But I won't be starting it in my home until this coming Sunday Dec. 5th. My church will start it this Sunday as well. So I'll be following along with them.
Verses for the first Sunday of Advent are:
  • Isaiah 2:1-5
  • Psalm 122
  • Romans 13:11-14
  • Matthew 24:36-44

Here are some truths I am pondering from the passages above during the first week of Advent.
  • I want to come to the Holy word to be taught by God and walk in His paths.
Isaiah 2:3 " Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,  to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”
  • I will be continually focusing my heart to praise God and place Him as my focus each day.
Psalm 122:1, 4 "I rejoiced with those who said to me,  “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” That is where the tribes go up— the tribes of the LORD— to praise the name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel.
  • I don't want to walk through the Christian life asleep going through the motions. I want to please God and not my flesh.
 "And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.  Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh."
                                                                                                                 Romans 13:11-14
  • I will keep watching for my Savior each day, for no one knows the hour He will come.
"Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." Matthew 24:44
Focusing on Advent helps place Christ back in Christmas by being deliberate to acknowledge Him first instead of thinking about the worldliness of the season. It helps your marriage by placing the focus on Christ instead of selfish desires. It reminds both spouses that Christ is the center of your marriage. It helps your parenting by teaching your children, by example, that Jesus means everything to your family and that Christ is Christmas.
How are you keeping Christ in Christmas this year? I want to hear from you!

Let's be deliberate and not lose sight of the greatest gift we ever to be received by mankind. Let's keep Christ in Christmas!

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