Every year, the scene is the same: I’m driving somewhere, flipping through radio stations, and suddenly Christmas music is wafting through my speakers.
And every year, my response is similar. “I’m not ready to think about Christmas. It’s too early.” So, I switch stations and put it out of my mind.
Part of this reaction connects back to my years in college when Christmastime was synonymous with exams, final papers and due dates. Christmas music on the radio meant I was running out of time.
But beginning Dec. 1 to Christmas day, Advent is a season custom-made for heart preparation. Its intention is to prompt us to set aside a bit of space each day to ready our hearts for the entrance of Christ.
This season of preparation always catches me off guard.
But rather than let the busyness of the Christmas season overshadow the presence of a holiday designed to celebrate God’s love and sacrifice – the very entrance of the Gospel into the world – I should be preparing my heart to respond to Him out of love and gratitude.
This Christmas, I want to do a better job of preparing my heart to celebrate the arrival of Jesus into the world. Here are some ideas in the running:
(Article and information originally appeared on www.cru.org)
Author Ann Voskamp writes:
“We’re ready for Christmas, not when we have all the gifts, but when we are ready for Christ – when we’re ready to give all of ourselves to Christ.”
Learn more about the truth in many Christmas songs you’ve heard (and probably some you haven’t). This online devotional by US Cru staff member Eric Segalini explains the message of Jesus using various song lyrics.
Fill a bowl with grass/wheat seeds and prepare a small pot with soil. During Advent, look for opportunities to do small acts of kindness for others. For each kind act, plant a seed. Water regularly. On Christmas Eve, gather the sprouts of grass and lay them in Jesus’ manger.
If you like reading, find a book that takes you through the Advent season. Here are some suggestions:
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