Advent- This Year Will Be Different, Part 1
When we think of Christmas, there is so much energy, excitement, busyness, and effort put into the holiday season. Often Jesus and His birth can become a footnote to the entire thing, causing it to feel like just another Christmas Season. Is it possible that things could truly feel and be different this year than in other years? Rather than placing so much of our effort on getting stuff done this time of year, what would happen if we spent much of that energy contemplating why Jesus came in the first place?
Thinking through this season, as I mentioned in the sermon, I have so many fond memories as a child of what Christmas held in store for me. I miss that feeling the older I get. I no longer feel drawn towards what I'm getting, how much fun I'm going to have throughout the day, or who all I'll get to see and talk to. It makes me wonder Mary must have felt when she heard the news that Jesus was coming and that she would get to be His mother.
Can you imagine the excitement at that moment? How nervous she and Joseph must have felt for the months leading up to His arrival? His coming was far superior to any Christmas morning’s anticipation.
We all struggle with the busyness of the season. We find ourselves consumed with shopping, decorating, inviting, cooking, cleaning, traveling, wrapping, etc. We try to squeeze in all the favs from It's A Wonderful Life to Hot Cocoa and Caroling. In all this busyness, we can quickly lose sight of what matters most – that our Creator came to earth specifically for us, to provide us with the greatest gift imaginable.
Let's keep the conversation going. Use the following questions to discuss with your family, friends, or Connection Group.
1. What are some of your favorite memories of Christmas? Any favorite traditions?
2. Take a moment and think. How are you using your time this Christmas Season? Are your priorities something Jesus would be satisfied with?
3. What might you need to change or realign to experience more of Him?
4. What areas in your life may you need to repent of that are keeping you back from absolute intimacy with Jesus?
5. As Pastor Mark has shared previously, before you go any further, find joy in the fact that you are on the journey, but allow a holy discontent to be the catalyst that moves you closer to where you need to be with Jesus.