It is amazing to me that the calendar is flipping to November next week. This year has flown by! While my emotions are still stuck somewhere back in August, I’ve started thinking about how to celebrate the upcoming season of Advent and Christmas. How do I want this year to be different from past years? How do I need to take time to prepare Him room?
I love Isaiah 40!
ISAIAH 40: 1-5 THE MESSAGE
“Comfort, oh comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem, but also make it very clear , That she has served her sentence, that her sin is taken care of—forgiven!
She’s been punished enough and more than enough, and now it’s over and done with.”
Thunder in the desert! “Prepare for God’s arrival! Make the road straight and smooth,
a highway fit for our God. Fill in the valleys, level off the hills, Smooth out the ruts, clear out the rocks. Then God’s bright glory will shine and everyone will see it. Yes. Just as God has said.”
What do you notice? What inspires you? What brings you hope?
How do you want to prepare your heart for the arrival of Jesus this year?
What are the things that you might want to do differently this year than in years past?
What barriers do you see that might need moving out of your way so you can celebrate the arrival of Jesus?
What are the rocks blocking your way?
What do you see that needs to be made smooth in your life, so you can celebrate a peaceful Advent and Christmas Season?
Take some time to journal about this. Take time to discuss this with your family, housemates, etc
Do you need to clear things off your calendar?
Do you need to make more space for quiet, for play, for time in nature?
Consider what truly fills you with joy and wonder in the Advent and Christmas Season: Take time to ponder this. Take time to journal and discuss it with friends and family. Then, make sure you include these things in your plan for this Season.
Last year many of our traditions got upended due to the pandemic. Maybe you missed something that you’d like to recapture this year. Maybe you found some new ways to celebrate the season that you’d like to continue. What were your memories from last year? What do you need to keep? What do you need to clear away? Talk to Jesus about this!
Last year, my good friend Joanna Cummings started a new business called A Sacred Home. As a Children and Family Minister, Joanna wanted to help people of all ages engage God at home around the table and in the midst of everyday life.
Joanna designed a Box for Advent and has a new box launching this week called Everyday Faith. Both of these boxes include hands-on practices, crafts, candles, and creative discussion questions to help families, friends, and housemates draw closer to Jesus. A Sacred Home Box would make a great Christmas gift to share with a neighbor or family member too! And while designed with kids in mind, many adults without kids at home loved creating and experiencing the Advent Box last year!
And finally, at my website, freerangeworship.com, we have prayer station based Sacred Spaces that you can create for and with your church communities, youth group, and even for your neighborhoods. Sacred Spaces, like the ADVENT WAITING and CELEBRATING the INCARNATION for Christmas, are great ways to reach out to neighbors and friends who might not go to a regular church service but would like to experience the story of the birth of Jesus using all their senses! Sacred Spaces are creative, interactive, and for all ages! If you know Montessori schools, I like to call Sacred Space prayer experiences Montessori Church!
This weekend, take some time to clear out the rocks, smooth out the path…go out and take a walk and pick up a rock to remind you to get your heart ready for the arrival of Jesus!
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