My Favorite Things

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If you ask me what I love, my list would include (at least) these things: Jesus, my family, Christmas, the beach, snow, and chocolate. So, this time of year is my very favorite time. I get to enjoy many of the things I love. I even have a beach-themed Christmas tree!

The season of Advent (which begins on Sunday, December 2), is when we anticipate the coming of Jesus. Many people call this season Christmas, yet the Church calendar tells us that the Christmas season begins on Christmas Day (December 25) and continues for the following 12 days, until Epiphany (when we celebrate the arrival of the magi). I know, it’s a lot to take in, but these things are important. After all, there’s a reason we celebrate Christmas. It’s about one of my loves: Jesus.

During this season, the world sets up a stage filled with all things Christmas, in preparation for the biggest birthday part of the year. Any good birthday party includes the following things (and Christmas is no exception): invitations (Christmas cards, party invitations), a guest of honor (the birthday boy, Jesus), decorations, gifts, cake (baked goods), party favors, and more. This season is really a big, fancy birthday party for Jesus (although some may forget the birthday boy)!

What an amazing time of year! I get sad when I hear others complain about the commercialization and craziness of the season. Yes, the stores get crazy, but people are buying gifts for those they love. Yes, the music is repetitive, but it’s festive and fun. Yes, we gain weight, but we eat treats that are only available this time of year. What if Christians look at the season of Advent in a new way? The whole world is preparing for the arrival of Jesus! They may not know it, and they may not care, but they are doing it!

This reminds me of Philippians 2. The writer tells all about how Jesus came to Earth as a human and gave himself on the cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-10, ESV). 

Even if they do not acknowledge his birth, Christians and pagans (non-Christians) celebrate the birth of Jesus! The world even sings songs to celebrate his birth. Look at the words to one popular song, which I have already heard on secular radio stations, in stores, and on television this season:

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee
Born this happy morning
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given
Word of the Father
Now in flesh appearing!

O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord!

Jesus, my family, Christmas, the beach, snow, and chocolate.  I’d love to tell you more about how to weave stories of the birth of Jesus into the Advent season. Stay tuned for more blogs.

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