This Advent, Come, Lord Jesus

Christmas

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God…?” (1 Cor. 3:16, NKJV, bold emphasis mine)

“‘…The Desire of All Nations shall come to this Temple, and I will fill this place with my glory,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Hag. 2:7, TLB, bold emphasis mine).

Has it happened to you multiple times, as it has happened to me, that after all the build-up to Christmas, you feel a letdown when it’s over?

May I propose a reason for this? Jesus, not Christmas, is the fulfillment of our deepest longings. I have found that the more He empowers me to stay centered on Him through the Christmas season, the more I enjoy Christmas… and the more the glow lasts after it ends.

This weekend, Advent began. Advent literally means “coming,” originating from the Latin word Adventus. It was originally a forty day period of fasting to prepare new believers for baptism in January during the feast of Epiphany.

While I am not necessarily suggesting that you and I spend the next few weeks fasting, I think there is something to draw from the roots of our traditions. What if we spend Advent in contemplative preparation for encountering Him in an even deeper way this Christmas than ever before?

The 25th of December, we will celebrate the first coming (advent) of Jesus into our world, into our lives. As we read in Haggai’s prophecy above, Jesus is the Desire of All Nations. Holy Spirit promised through that oracle, many centuries ago, that the fulfillment of our longings would come. That night in Bethlehem, He did. He came. He is here. Immanuel. God with our own flesh and blood. God wrapped up intimately in our most agonizing pain and our most soaring joys. God at our level, in our own heart’s language. God with us.

Here is here. The Spirit of Jesus is here with us now. He is immeasurably closer than the air moving in and out of your lungs. He is immeasurably nearer than the blood pumping rhythmically through your veins. Let’s let ask Him for a heightened awareness of His closeness this Advent season. Let’s ask Him to manifest Himself to us as we move through all the holiday festivities. Let’s purposefully stop and breathe Him in, even in the midst of our shopping, decorating, and preparing our homes. Let’s invite His presence into every single activity that we partake in… leading up to and including Christmas Day.

Let’s make our Advent all about the Desire of All Nations. Let’s ask Him to come into His temple and fill us with His glory.

“Even so, Lord, come…”

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What are your strategies for working space for contemplation into the busyness of the Christmas season?

10 thoughts on “This Advent, Come, Lord Jesus

  1. My strategy for this busier than usual season is the same as it is for all the others: pray, read and memorize Scripture first thing every morning. The Lord uses this time to bring my focus where it belongs, on Him! By getting my ‘morning fill-up,’ I am now much better equipped to be His servant in the many things that will come at and to me each day. Knowing He has prepared me helps to bring joy each day, and allows me to experience and express it daily.
    As you mentioned fasting, a discipline I could exercise more often than I do, I am reminded of something I have been taught: though Biblical fasting is in reference to food, we can apply the same principal to watching television, going to the movies, etc. Anything we voluntarily give up in an effort to draw us closer to God will be honored by Him. I counsel folks to seek Holy Spirit’s guidance about fasting, as He will lead us in all truth!
    Blessings to you Jennifer in this season. May God continue to bless you richly in all you do for Him!
    Chuck
    PS: How is your daughter doing?
    C

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is wonderful insight Chuck, both about how to connect in with God at the beginning of the day to stay centered, and the different possible approaches to fasting. He does indeed cherish it when we take initiative of any shape to draw near to Him!
      And thank you so much for asking about Ester. Every day she feels a little better, for which I am so profoundly grateful!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remind myself and my parishoners of the importance of keeping a correct Christmas focus. I encourage them to have a great time at their holiday gatherings, but at some point during those times, to step back, look around, and thank God for making the celebration possible. The secular version of Christmas depends on emotion and materialism, neither of which will satisfy the soul for long. Only Jesus, Love Incarnate, the best gift we will ever receive, can give us what we long for.

    And Jennifer, believers like you and I must continue to use our skills to present the proper Christmas message. If just one heart is changed because of what we and followers like us do, there will be great joy in heaven!

    Have a blessed Advent, my friend— Mike

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mike! Your kind words brought a blessed, joyful smile to my face. I am grateful for your encouragement!

      And amen! That taking a step back to focus on Him and thank Him really does make all the difference between a passing, forgettable festivity, and a moment to remember for years to come!

      The richest of blessings to you this Advent too, my brother! 🙂

      Like

  3. A-men Jennifer and others who comment. Advent is a reminder to us all that Christmas is a REMEMBRANCE of a birthday and should be respected as such. He came…He will come again. Ready or not! Wake up all believers is the cry of Advent around the world. Yes, remember the birthday, enjoy all the ‘trappings’ but the focus must be on the ONE who came because when all the stuff has gone He is the only certainty we have. He died and shed His Blood so we can follow Him to Eternity.
    so to ALL. Have a very Happy, Joyous, and wonderful time of remembering the baby who came, His human birth should give us all a Heavenly focus. Shalom! and Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

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