Advent rolls around again. It’s not the first time I think about Christmas. In fact I have been seeing Christmas decorations in all the stores since before Halloween. It is the first time I accept Christmas. It is the week I begin turning my heart to what the season is meant to be all about. As I begin to experience Christmas again this year, I need to hold my heart open to the holiness of the season or I have no chance of making it a holy season.
It starts with fighting off the world and all its trappings at Christmas. There is nothing holy about frantically buying gifts I can’t afford, packing my schedule with events and parties that drain my energy, and eating every delight that is set before me.
The season begins with high hopes that will be fulfilled only if I set my hope on Jesus. He brings hope to every heart! Hope will help us make this season a holy season. If you have an Advent wreath, use it to help you maintain your focus on the holiness of this time of year. The circle of evergreen dotted by a candle to light each week with the white candle in the middle, ever reminding you of Christ, is untainted by the other trappings of Christmas. It forces you to remember that Christmas is holy.
You have to orientate your soul to feel hope because hope is about what is not seen. Christmas is thrown in your face and can distract you from hope. The first candle of Christmas is called the Prophet’s candle. The prophets held on to the hope that God would do what He said He would do. Year after year they held on to the promise of the Messiah even though hundreds of years passed without a sign of Him.
Holiness was everywhere Jesus was while He lived on this earth. Not everyone recognized His holy presence. There is holiness in the air at Christmas, but it can easily be overcome by all the pressure and pleasures the season offers.
I will live in holy hope as I focus on my living King. He is in heaven reigning over the spiritual kingdom that will never leave me hopeless. I have more reason than the Israelites in Isaiah’s day to believe in the light that has come. Isaiah 9 talks about the child that is born with a special introduction in verse 2, “The people walking darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
Each Sunday before Christmas I will remind myself that this is a holy season as I bring light to represent the hope that cannot be taken away from me because the child was born at Christmas, He became a man who taught me how to know God as my father, then He died on a cross, was buried and rose again. I wish you a holy season.