08 Dec 2016

The Season of Preparation

It is amazing how quickly time seems to fly by especially during the holiday season.  It seems as if we are in a constant mode of preparation and planning.  We plan our shopping lists, we prepare for office Christmas parties, family gatherings, trips to join our loved ones, etc., etc., etc.  It can be very exciting, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. The popular cliché is a truism – “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.  Now you can take that as seriously or as literally as you choose; but one thing is for sure, most things work out better with some type of preparation.

For the past couple of years my husband and I have felt the importance of focusing our attention and that of our congregation, on the symbolism of the season of Advent.  We recognize that some Christian churches do not agree or spend time explaining the significance of it.   However, due to the fact that we are a “non-denominational” church, our methodology is always “spirit-led” rather than ritualistic or legalistic in its approach and delivery. 

Whether you know a little, a lot, or nothing at all about Advent is not my concern, today I just want to make a brief correlation of how it can and even should affect your life as a Christian.  The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival”.  The Advent season is meant to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and furthermore to focus our attention on the anticipation of His soon second coming.  What a wonderful way to bring significance and spiritual grounding to what the world has designated as Christmas!  

This IS the true meaning of Christmas and the reason for the season!  Within this season we have the opportunity as a believer to focus and deeply reflect on the past – how and why Jesus was born; the present  — our current relationship with Him; and the future  —  being in constant readiness to “fly” with Him when He returns for us in His second coming!  Advent is characterized best by the spirit of expectation, anticipation, and PREPARATION!  I don’t know about you, but in all my years of planning and preparation, not one EVENT comes close in comparison.  

This level of preparation must step aside from the assembly and assertion of group effort.  This kind of preparation is all personal!  It supersedes denominational divisions and boundaries.  I would never suggest that you negate all of the religious principles that were instrumental in establishing the foundation of your belief in God.  However, our preparation for what lies ahead, for how and where we will spend eternity must be predicated upon the guidelines in which we live our lives on a daily basis.  It embodies the decisions we make, our character and conduct, the level of our faith, and the overall manner in which we pursue God, our Father.

While we are spending these next precious days and weeks "preparing" for our family and friends and making things all things ready, I urge you to look deeper into the meaning and basis of your "preparation".  During this wonderful season that I love so dear, take some time to slow down and even go so far as to calculate the time and effort you’re putting into the PREPARATION of things that will have fleeting impact and gratification, and compare it to your PREPARATION for the EVENT that will have everlasting reward and ultimate elevation.

Source: First Lady Denise