Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent. And so we have begun a new year in the Christian liturgical calendar. We usually begin this season in church with readings about Jesus second coming. As the weeks progress toward Christmas, we then move toward the birth narratives.

The joyful, prayerful season

The placement of these scriptures is intentional. We begin by remembering where God is going with history – that there will be a time when God will wipe away every tear; when mourning and weeping will be no more. As the weeks pass by, we then shift to Jesus’ birth – the beginning of the fulfillment of these prophecies. And we celebrate that God came among us in the person of Jesus.

My prayer for you is that you would reclaim this time as a holy season. Yes, there are parties to attend and shopping to be done. But, I hope that you will take the time to reflect and to worship and allow the deeper meaning and joy of the season to sink in.

Let us pray: Loving God, we claim the promise today that what you began on Christmas morning more than 2,000 years ago, you will one day bring to completion. As we long for your peace, joy, hope and love, help us to make decisions and commitments that reflect that longing. Meet us in this holy time, we ask in Jesus name. Amen.