For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
Isaiah 9:6a (MSG)

 

Today marks the beginning of the Advent Season – it is the first Sunday of Advent, the Advent Sunday of Hope. For some it might seem early for the Season to begin (my Dad refuses to let my Mom put up a Christmas tree until it is ACTUALLY December…she got her Nativity set up, though, so her decorating has begun despite my Dad’s best efforts!).

It is still November – our friends in the States have just celebrated Thanksgiving. It may seem early for a beginning. But I love the first few days of Advent. Right now it’s all anticipation – there are so many thing to look forward to, so many celebrations to be had.

As a church leader, this can be a time of year in which the pressures get to us. I have friends and colleagues who swear that the joy of the Season has been robbed by the demands and pressures of our work. And for ten years, I have worked very hard to not allow that to happen to me.

Instead, I jump in with both feet. I decorate the house BIG (two trees! Snow globes! Greenery on the banister! Red ribbons wrapping the doors!), I listening to Christmas music in my car, I indulge in the Seasonal drinks (ok, the skinny version…but still!) at Starbucks. I keep my eyes open for opportunity to bring joy to others (finding, as I always have, that is the best way to bring joy to myself).

I was touched by the Rev. Douglas Rollwage’s reminder that the child was born FOR US, during his sermon at St. Andrew’s, Brampton today. That God did all of this – Jesus’ birth, life, teaching, death, Resurrection and the salvation we find through it – FOR US.

I am convinced, that as long as I keep that message in my heart – and you keep it in yours – we will not be able to feel anything less than grateful, humble joy throughout the Season. May you (and I!) be so blessed.

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