Advent is the best. It is like coming home for me. It is at this time of year that I am reminded in the most tangible of ways that God's love for us is absolutley limitless. Every year I learn in a new way just how far-reaching his love is. It amazes me that it can all feel fresh and new with each passing year. Somehow this great God of ours finds a way to show me again and in surprising ways what a miracle that first Christmas truly was and still is for us.
Here are some of the ways he's shown that to me over the past several years.
- The lyrics of that wonderful song "Welcome to Our World" by Chris Rice always bless my heart and soul. I recommend his version if you can find it. It is one of the most heartfelt and beautiful Christmas songs I have ever heard. Incomparable in its theology and its melody. Listen to it and tell me you aren't moved.
- The beautiful words of the first chapter of John's gospel always speak to me. It is so poetic and drenched with meaning that I find a little something new each time I read it. It is a rich representation of the heart of Christmas and Advent. It is one to commit to memory during this season so that your heart can recall it throughout the new year.
- My dear friend Lisa has been the earthly representation of that first Advent candle to me this year, "Christ, our hope." She is holding unswervingly to that part of Him as she fights breast cancer this year. She is shining His light more than she could ever know.
- Visit here for some of my previous thoughts on this glorious season.
- These words of wisdom from Mother Teresa, whose life was the embodiment love, really inspired me today:
"Don’t think that love, to be true, has to be extraordinary. What is necessary is to continue to love. How does a lamp burn, if it is not by the continuous feeding of little drops of oil? When there is no oil, there is no light and the bridegroom will say: “I do not know you”. Dear friends, what are our drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things from every day life: the joy, the generosity, the little good things, the humility and the patience. A simple thought for someone else. Our way to be silent, to listen, to forgive, to speak and to act. That are the real drops of oil that make our lamps burn vividly our whole life. Don’t look for Jesus far away, He is not there. He is in you, take care of your lamp and you will see Him.”
- There are countless other pockets of realization I've had along the way. I'll admit that I've also had memory lapses where I have failed to fully participate in this season I love so much. But God always brings me back with His nudges of grace and love in the most subtle of ways.
May He come anew into your heart this Advent season. Make room for Him this day and each day of this beautiful time of year. Look for Him in the little things and in the most unlikely of places...that's where He'll be. Look for Him in...you.