The more I think about it, the more I realize this 'choice' is yet another subtle lie that I have forgotten to question. Instead I need to remember that "in him we live and move and have our being"(Acts 17:28), and that it is in pushing Christ out that we lose our life. "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." (Mat 10:39,16:25, Mk 8:35,Lk 9:24...) Putting Christ over the 'logic' of self interest is one of the counter-cultural parts of our faith, yet it is something God wants to teach us to do - abd what a gift it is! Advent gives us an opportunity to practice just that.
Here are a list of practical ideas for celebrating Advent this year:
- Buy or borrow an Advent devotional book, and take time either on your own or with a group of family or friends to use it once a week or even daily.
- Make/buy an advent wreath and light it during these times, and even at meals. This could be as simple as arranging five candles on your table. The traditional colors are purple, pink (see previous post) and white (for the Christ Candle - the center one).
- Give up something (for example, sweets, or the singing of Christmas carols) for these four weeks before Christmas. This helps remind us of our need for repentance, and also makes more tangible our sense of waiting for the true celebration of Christmas.
- Simply challenge yourself to spend more time with God in prayer.
- Participate in advent celebrations within your local church body.
This list is based off things that I have found helpful, but I'm sure there are many other ways you could celebrate advent. May you be challenged and encouraged!