An Advent Focus

by | Nov 28, 2022 | Pastor's Blog

Christmas is coming soon! Are you ready to celebrate? Hold on now! Advent comes first. It’s an overlooked season, but an important one. We not only prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, but we prepare for his coming again. The word Advent comes from a word that means “coming.” Something is coming! Actually, someone is coming. Are you ready? 

It’s easy to lose focus this time of year. Whether it’s snow falling or warmer temperatures in this season, thinking about what gifts I still need to purchase, or trying to figure out my holiday schedule, it’s easy to lose focus!  

One morning a few years ago, as I led our morning prayer session at my church, my mind started to wander during prayer. In fact, as we entered into the Lord’s Prayer, I began to stumble over the words. There’s nothing more embarrassing than mixing up the words that Jesus taught us. I lost my focus. My mind began to move to all the things I needed to accomplish throughout the day and during the next few weeks leading up to Christmas.

Be Prepared

In the words of the lectionary Scripture reading for the first Sunday of Advent out of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus reminds us to “Stay awake! Be prepared!” With all of the potential distractions this time of year, we are called to stay awake, be prepared, and have focus. My prayer for today is to keep my focus on the coming of Christ during this season. It’s not always easy, but if we look toward all the things that could distract us and remember God, then maybe we’ll be focused.

The white snow, when it comes, can remind us of the words from Psalm 51, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Maybe the lights all around us on homes and Christmas trees will remind us of Jesus’ words in Matthew, “You are the light of the world.” When we gather with family and friends to enjoy good food and a nice meal, keep in mind the “breaking bread from house to house, taking meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,” as we read of the early church in Acts 2.

Nearly everything in this season can point us to the focal point of why we do what we do in Advent. Everything can point to Christ. Maybe they’re not distractions at all, but instead they can help us focus our hearts and lives on Christ, the true light, who is the Prince of Peace and Emmanuel God with us.