With the hectic pace that the pre-Christmas time can bring, it’s important, even necessary, to regularly slow down and pause. Why exactly are we rushing about? What exactly are we preparing for? Who exactly are we doing this for?
This year, I invite you to try something different. I invite you to make a less-than-perfect Christmas meal. You have permission to decorate the Christmas tree as unsymmetrical as you dare. Drive the speed limit (or lower) to your next Christmas gathering. And make time to prepare yourself and your home for the blessing of the greatest gift that God has given to us.
If you find it difficult to carve out time, why not invite Jesus into your busy schedule?
- As you write Christmas cards, say a short prayer of thanks for the many people in your life (or write your prayer in the card).
- Once your family has decorated the Christmas tree, grab some pipe cleaners and make a few more decorations through this prayer exercise:
- While you are driving to and from family events, pray with those in the car for those at your family gathering.
There are also many creative ways in which you can have meaningful advent devotions by yourself or with your family.
- The CRC Office of Social Justice can email you a daily devotional: “Displacement and Belonging” – or you can check out their advent devotional archives at the bottom of the page.
- Here are two Advent Chain crafts (from Vibrant Faith to create yourself, and a pre-printed one from Kids Corner) where you tear off and use a link as the devotion for the day.
- Making a Jesse Tree isn’t too difficult, and it’s a great way to understand Jesus’ family tree.
- Remember that advent wreath you just made? Here are two weekly devotionals (from Vibrant Faith, and from Building Faith) that you can use as you light the candles.
What other devotions have you used for advent?
What prayer practices have you found helpful during the advent season?
How does your family recognize and celebrate the advent season?
EDIT: Re:Frame Media invites you to have A Calmer Christmas with their devotionals that will arrive in your email.
Check out The Advent Project, an engaging way to pray, read, and listen through the advent season.