Joy to the World!

The Lord is come.

Christmas is such a fantastic time of year. We’re wrapping up the year at work, winding down to a nice summer break, with sun and surf, family and friends, and all the things that make summer great. We’ve got Christmas parties and Secret Santa’s, Carols by Candle Light and Midnight Masses. Silent Nights and Jingle Bell Rock, The Santa Clause and A Miracle on 34th Street.

Yet in all of this busyness, it’s easy to forget the reason for the season. The Lord is come!

Let every heart prepare Him room

Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming”, is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. It serves as a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah, as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ’s return.

As we enter into this period of Advent, we make the preparations to celebrate Christmas. We organise the staff Christmas function. We negotiate times so that we can see all the family. We decorate the Christmas tree. Our services at Church prepare us for the coming celebration. In this time of preparation, we also need to prepare ourselves to celebrate.

Buy yourself an Advent devotion and take up a daily devotion. Try the Lectio Devina style of bible reading, using passages from the nativity. Read the different accounts of the Nativity every day, and see what God is telling you through them: Matthew 1:18-2:23 and Luke 1:1-2:21.

Repeat the sounding joy.

Share what you have been doing to prepare yourself for Christmas this year in the comments below. While I’ve been busy packing, as you know I’ve also been posting Christmas Carols and reflecting on the words that we sing every year, and seeing what they have to say to me about the Christmas Story.

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Author: Ben Clapton

I'm an Officer in The Salvation Army, currently appointed with my wife as Corps Officers at the Rochester Corps in country Victoria (20 minutes out of Echuca). I play violin and guitar, amongst many others, and love golf and running.

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