The sky gets dark at five o’clock in the afternoon. The middle school kids ring the Salvation Army bell in front of the crowded store. Colorful lights decorate houses and trees. Ads about Black Friday clutter the newspapers and televisions. Santa Claus is already making his initial appearances. The cookies. The cards. The carols. The movies. The songs.
It’s hectic. It’s joyful. It can be stressful. Andy Williams once sung a song that it is the most wonderful time of the year. He is probably right.
Yet something is missing. Someone, actually.
The world holds her breath. We are wired to know better. Bright red and green lights are no replacement for the light of the world. Getting good deals on perishable possessions is no comparison to the best deal we will ever and forever get. Santa Claus is no substitute for Jesus.
The Latin word is adventus. It means the coming of someone important. Today we say Advent. The ancient church used this four-week period to prepare to celebrate Jesus entering the world. Life would never be the same again. Neither would death. Something to celebrate for sure.
Here is a prayer to lead us during Advent as WE invite Jesus to have a larger role in our lives.
I walk down paths of pessimism.
I drive down streets of despair.
But I know Hope is on His way.
I receive criticism from others and others don’t listen to me.
I respond with indifference and apathy.
But I know Love is on His way.
I practice comparison and feel insecure.
I have been injured by hurtful words and actions.
But I know Joy is on His way.
I hang out with companions named stress and anxiety.
I long for balance and harmony.
But I know Peace is on His way.
I invite You more and more into my life.
Give me patience as I wait and expect.
Let me listen to what You believe about me and how You believe in me.
Fill me with hope, love, joy, and peace.