Advent is the period before Christmas that lasts anywhere from 21- 28 days, and includes four Sundays. It is a time of preparation for the coming of the baby Jesus. Each Sunday of Advent churches around the world prepare for Christmas by speaking about four very important elements of Advent (peace, hope, love and joy), and their meaning to Christians.
But in the 21st century Advent has become a "MARTHA" season. The four weeks of hustle and bustle to create the most magical Christmas experience for our families. We are shopping, wrapping, cleaning, cooking, baking, card writing, decorating and even some of us creating Advent Celebrations at our place of worship.
This is a season of getting things done but what if we really could focus on a "MARY" season?
Do you remember this story?
Luke 10:38-42At the Home of Martha and Mary 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a]Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Wow! Can you relate to Martha? Her thought process is to be efficient and caring by doing all of this for her family and guests. Good intentions, yes, and we all have those thoughts but the focus isn't really on the Christ child. The focus isn't in the moment with our friends and family.
My hope is that this Advent can be turned into a "MARY Season of Advent." A new season where we are joyful and grateful for the:
- ability to make purchases for our friends and family
- time to wrap a package with our toddlers or loved ones next to us
- home to clean , bake, cook and decorate
- friends and family to send blessings to
- church family to offer and receive both love and support
My wish for all of us is that we can intentionally slow down and find the peace in all the moments during this "MARY Season of Advent." May we all find “the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him.” Let’s make each moment the centerpiece. Let’s not sacrifice our daily walk with God for the daily urge to do more. Instead, let’s intentionally enjoy every moment through all of our senses with all of our family and friends, “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness … to God” (Colossians 3:16b, ESV). Because if we can focus on the four elements of Advent (peace, hope, love and joy), those elements can make every minute of this season magical for anyone!
Wishing you and yours a blessed "MARY Season of Advent!"
Please consider having your family join the North Scottsdale United Methodist church family at our 18th Annual Advent Celebration and enjoy the moments of the "MARY Season of Advent." http://www.nsumckids.info/advent-celebration.html