Advent is upon us! What Christmas traditions and preparations do you enjoy or fondly remember? Getting a Christmas tree has been a fun tradition for my family and we will now drive 250 miles to be able to carry on this tradition with our adult children. The holidays carry a lot of traditions and memories for most of us making it a time of great meaning, but also increasing the potential for stress and loneliness. Life changes and high expectations can make it hard to experience the deeper meanings of the holiday season. The good thing is – there is good news!
The good news of Jesus’ birth centuries ago continues to resound today in a world that still needs hope. This is what we sing carols, decorate trees, give gifts and send cards to celebrate. The birth of God’s love in a completely unexpected way shouts an audacious hope not defied by skepticism or confined by nature. Christmas hope allows for new perspectives and possibilities even in the most difficult of times, because it was born from God’s unconditional love.
It is from knowing this love in the gift of Jesus that we can become grounded in hope despite where we are in our life journey or the state of the world around us. Being emboldened by God’s love to nourish connections with God and others empowers us to be who we are created to be: People in loving connection with the world. With this in mind, I challenge us to prepare for Christmas in two ways:
- Spend at least 15 minutes each day with God through prayer, Scripture and devotional readings.
- Perform an act of kindness out of the ordinary each day.
By connecting with God and others more deeply may we be inspired to shape the world with God’s audacious hope and Christmas love.