As we move into the Christmas season, I know that the tendency, at least for my family, is to make the most of what the season provides. Christmas parties, driving around looking at Christmas lights, having people over for breakfast and supper, watching Christmas movies and going to the Christmas parade and making Christmas cookies with friends all take their places on our calendar. I love and look forward to doing these things.
I have also felt a strong desire this year to really help my family and our church family Encounter Jesus and experience the joy of living for Him throughout this season.
When I think about what GOD does to us and in us when we come into His presence, I think about the joy, the peace, the hope, the strength, the life that He imparts to us simply by being in His presence. I don’t want to stop doing the things I mentioned above that I get to do during the Christmas season. What I want to do is to make the most of the opportunities that GOD gives to me.
I want to listen well and be compassionate, considerate and kind to the people I get to be with at Christmas parties. I want to enjoy being with my kids as Courtney and I look at lights with hot chocolate in our hands. I want to love and serve the people that sit around our table and share a meal with us. I want to notice people and care about them as I encounter them at the parade and in the stores getting food and gifts. And what I realized is that being in His presence is what prepares us for those moments.
This season, my hope for our church family is that we would Encounter Jesus and experience the joy of living for Him.
Practically, I want to invite you to try three things this season with me:
1. SIT WITH THE LORD.
Set aside 30 minutes (or more) each day to just be with the Lord. It can be in the morning or during your lunch break or at night before bed. Read the bible. Pray. Listen to the Lord by sitting in silence. If you don’t know what to read in the bible, I suggest reading one chapter each day in the book of Luke. Come into His presence and ask, “What do you want me to hear today?” And then listen, because He will speak!
2. SEE WHAT THE LORD IS DOING AROUND YOU.
Look for opportunities to serve. Who are the people in your office that are discouraged and sad and how might GOD want you to help them? Who are the people you’ll meet at your spouse’s Christmas party and how can you take advantage, in conversation, of the few minutes you’ll get with them? Who are the neighbors that need help or a hug or prayer or all three? When you spend time in GOD’s presence, you don’t want to keep what He does in you all to yourself. Will you see what GOD is doing around you and join Him?
3. SHARE WHERE YOU SAW THE LORD.
Share where you needed his grace. I imagine you sitting around with your friends at Baja at dinner or at night in the living room with your roommates or around the dinner table with your families sharing each day where you experienced or where you needed the Lord. This is a way for us to reflect and be thankful, but also to testify to the ways the Lord is working and how we’re intentionally pursuing Him in this season.
I am really anticipating what GOD will do through us and in us as we step into more intentionally living with Him.
Merry Christmas, Ethos Church! I hope this holiday season we encounter Jesus in new ways and experience the joy of living for and with Him!
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR ADVENT SEASON OR TO FIND RESOURCES & IDEAS AS WE SIT, SEE & SHARE...VISIT OUR ADVENT PAGE HERE.