Monday, December 2, 2013

Holidays OR Christmas?

I'm pretty happy.

I think I've found the solution to the debate about whether to say "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas" as we move toward December 25. 

The time leading up to the celebration of the Nativity, Christ's birth, which includes the four preceding Sundays, is actually called Advent. Therefore the most accurate greeting to offer during this season is "Blessed Advent". 

I came to this conclusion as the LORD has been drawing me into pondering the idea of waiting. The circumstances of my life certainly contribute to that process. We've been in the USA for a month with no definitive progress in having my Honey receive the cardiac care he needs. We're looking to the Father in expectation as we do our best to sort out way-too-many details.

I'm beginning to compare my meager efforts in the light of God's power and purpose with the efforts of the Old Testament believers. They lived under God's unfolding plan of redemption, but all they saw were foreshadowings. How did they manage to remain faithful day after day as they waited across generations for the promised Messiah?

I want to understand the ability of my forbears in the faith to toil in hope for literally hundreds of years of famines and feasts. They had to come and go, build houses, prepare meals, birth babies, mend clothes, welcome visitors, raise animals - all the normal activities of life under the Father's hand.

At the same time these diligent ancestors appear in my mind's eye, leaning forward toward heaven in fervent prayer. Their hands are clasped and raised, pleading for the expected Emmanuel to come and ransom His people from their mournful captivity in sin.

And so I want to be in my inner man.

I want to come and go, make a home, grocery shop, serve meals, do laundry, nurture grandchildren, weed gardens, encourage families - all the normal activities of life under the Father's hand. 

At the same time I want to be leaning forward toward heaven in fervent prayer. I want to keep my hands virtually clasped and raised, pleading for Christ to return and gather up the captives He has freed from sin.

Dear Father, please cause me to faithful in the mundane and the challenging. Lead me to persevere in duty and prayer for the sake of your Holy Name. 

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."  Ephesians 6:13

Hint: Enrich you Advent season with daily readings over at Lifework Forum

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