I made it through the first day of a long week of work. So far so good.
The Advent reading for today in THE UNCLUTTERED HEART: Making Room for God During Advent and Christmas was about John the Baptist. It was a nice complement to yesterday's sermon.
I recommend these websites (click the links) for your Advent enjoyment:
1. Our pastor's sermons posted on the church website (and youtube).
2. The Uncluttered Heart on-line. It's a shorter version of the book, with pictures.
These are two resources that are important to my celebration of Advent.
I share with you an excerpt from today's Advent reading:
As an Advent proponent, I love John the Baptist - at least from afar. (I'm not sure I would have been comfortable hanging out with a locust-eating, camel-hair wearing prophet.) But John the Baptist's message to us during this frantic season of the year draws me in. I mean, here's this guy out in the wilderness proclaiming God's word, "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." Who wants to hear the word repent? And who wants the extra work of making paths straight and all?
Yet we Advent journeyers also find ourselves in a sort of wilderness, a wilderness of excess, of noise and clutter and busyness; a wilderness of secular, consumer culture giving us the message that Christmas will be perfect if we buy the right presents - and do it now. We Advent people are crying out in this wilderness, trying to prepare the way in our own lives, trying to make a place, a holy space for the coming of the Christ child. We are called to prepare the way in the wilderness of pre-Christmas chaos, where rushed schedules and commercial chatter drown out the silence and prayer.
And hope goes with us, is with us, in the wilderness of chaos. Hope becomes a critical part of our Advent survival kit, guiding us through the distractions, reminding us of our single task: to prepare the way.
God of hope, help me prepare the way for you in the wilderness
of chaos. Give me strength, wisdom and patience to clear a path
for you through my cluttered heart and life. Amen
The Uncluttered Heart: Making Room for God During Advent and Christmas
by Beth A. Richardson
Publisher: Upper Room (August 1, 2009)
What are some other ways to bring meaning to the Advent season?