Today’s Devotional was written by Betty Fudge
Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
What ushers in the Advent season for you? This year, Advent begins on December 3rd, but for me, the excitement of the holiday season started way back on October 28th when Hallmark Channel started their 24/7 Christmas Movies! I really LOVE these movies! The beautiful Christmas trees decorated and lining the streets of the quaint towns that are the settings for the movies, the holiday music that is played, the sweet love stories, families gathered around a perfectly decorated tree eating freshly baked cookies and sipping warm beverages, ahhhh! Christmas!! After everyone else is asleep, and I am caught up for the day I will stay up too late, curl up with something warm and watch my favorite movies, basking in the glow of the upcoming holiday. I can envision the joyful, peaceful season ahead.
The problem, however, is that getting into the secular holiday spirit that early often causes a Christmas tidal wave for me. Weeks before Thanksgiving I am already planning for tree decorating, shopping, music, cooking, and baking. Before I know it, my Hallmark Christmas perfection has morphed into worrying about how we will get all the activities crammed into our schedules. This has the unfortunate effect of making me neither joyful nor peaceful. I want to reflect the light of Christ in my life!!
This year I have committed to spend time each morning focused on the most important thing I can do; reading my Bible. Before the holiday rush even begins, making the commitment to be still, to read my Bible, and to listen to His still small voice will not only help me experience the reason and the meaning of Christmas, it will transform my thoughts, priorities, and actions. After all, I want to reflect love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This season I commit to asking Him each day to order my steps so that I can shine His light into the world, and to make my priorities the priorities that are pleasing to Him. [1 Samuel 3:9] Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.
Prayer: Lord, we are your servants and we want to listen. Help us to pause and listen. And, when necessary, speak to us in ways that rise above the noise so we may be prepared for Christmas, and not just numbed by the holiday noise.