by Lilly Lewin
This past weekend was our first taste of Fall here in Tennessee. The 90 degree weather finally broke with a weekend of rain and a fresh breath of cold wind so that we now wake to temps in the mid-forties and highs in the low 60’s. Much better for my soul than the extended heat and humidity of this year. I’m just getting used to the idea of harvest and pumpkins on my porch. I even have a large pumpkin growing in my side yard. It’s a gift pumpkin from the seeds of last year’s jack o lantern that planted itself. I’m looking for more gifts in my world at the moment. Unexpected gifts like side yard pumpkins, cardinals on the mailbox, a post card from an old friend. It’s been a long year of world problems and political battling. Just turning on the news can turn up my stress level. I need the gift of peace and the gift of pausing. I need the reminder that God is still in control and God’s Light still shines brightly even when it feels dark. And I need the Hope of new life that can be found in the arrival of a baby.
We are all waiting for the gift of Light to arrive.
We all need to new eyes to see the gifts and light around us.
We all can prepare our hearts for the gift of Baby Jesus and the celebration of his arrival.
That’s what the season of Advent can provide for us. It can give us time and space to get our hearts ready! Advent is the season of preparing for the Gift of Jesus and it starts this year on December 2nd. Celtic Advent starts earlier, on November 15th. The Celtic Christians use 40 days of preparation before Christmas just like the 40 days of Lent before Easter. Maybe you need a little extra time this year to get your heart ready.
How can you get ready for the gift of Jesus this year?
When a baby is coming there is a lot to do and lots to plan for. And special gear to acquire in order to be ready for the baby’s arrival.
What things need to happen in order for you to prepare Him room?
Do you need to clear your calendar?
Do you need to make a plan?
Do you need to prepare mentally or change your attitude?
What does this look like?
Talk to God about this.
Can you get ready for the gift of Jesus as a baby, a baby who needs our time and attention?
Are you and I willing to accept this a receive Jesus as an infant?
How are you willing to change your life in order to give baby Jesus the attention and care he needs?
Consider this today.
Talk to God about how you can receive and prepare for Baby Jesus!
PUT ON SOME BABY LOTION let the smell remind you to prepare for the gift of the Baby Jesus.
You can help your church community, small group or youth group prepare for Advent and Christmas this year with a Sacred Space Prayer Experience. This is a series of prayer stations that can be set up as a stand alone event or use individual stations like one The Baby Lotion Station as a response to a sermon or teaching. It is found in the Christmas Incarnation Sacred Space Prayer Experience.
I also have an Advent Waiting Prayer Experience. You can purchase and download both of these Sacred Spaces at Freerange Worship. The Kits come with leader’s guide, supply lists, and photos of how to set up the prayer stations. Along with all the instruction signs in PDF to print out for each station.
Or Check out the great PDF Calendar for Celtic Advent and Beyond from Contemplative Cottage. This is last year’s calendar but it has great ideas for an action to take each day of Advent.
You might want to buy some baby supplies like a baby bottle, or diapers, or a bottle of baby lotion to have on hand as symbolic reminders that the Light of the World is being born and it’s time to prepare for his arrival. And Take time to receive the Gift of Baby Jesus!