Sunday, November 29, 2015

Advent 1 -What is God Saying to You This Advent?

I go to this women's study group/prayer group on Wednesday nights that has been such a sanity-establishing place this year.  It's the MOST eclectic group of women (that's another post) and we meet, talk about parenting and struggles as mothers, discuss a book and pray together.  I think, terrifyingly, that I may even have found my "tribe".  Anyway, each week, J, one of the women opens by asking us the question, "What do you think God is saying to you this week?" 

The first time she asked, I was really stumped.  I read the Bible, I pray, I listen to faith podcasts and I read voraciously.  Despite all that, I have never simplified it down like that.  I had really changed my thinking.  It has made me much more conscious of my need to listen.  It's been life-changing to me in terms of what I actually hear.

I have also been feeling very much called to honour Advent this year.  I love Christmas but so often, it becomes a crazed rush and belief and quiet and preparation don't come into it.  I wanted this year to be different (and if you ever read here, you have heard me say THAT before).  I thought I might combine the two and ask myself, "What is God saying to me today?  How can I get ready for the arrival of Jesus?"  While Advent begins today, I have already been hearing God's call to me., which makes want to write so that I don't forget.  So, a blog series is born.  I don't know whether I will be able to write every day but that is my challenge.

Post 1 -
Over the last few days, we have been getting out our decorations.  In our family, we like to decorate first Advent (I find that if we jump into Christmas too early, it's tired by the time it actually arrives.  I grew up in a family that put the tree up Christmas Eve and it adds so much to the excitement that the time is actually here!)

Of course, the kids want to help and they have been frenzied with revisiting familiar ornaments.  Me, in my slightly OCD way, feels that there is a "right" way to do it and I found myself feeling very frustrated (to the point of getting a bit chippy) with the fact that every time I turned around, another display had been rearranged or "messed up."  Then, the question popped into my mind, "What might God be saying to me here?"

Then, I suddenly saw it.  The kids were playing with Jesus and the Wise Men and the shepherds.  They had Rudolph and Hermie and the scary white thing from Rudolph (forgive me, I was traumatized by Rudolph as a child, I don't get the appeal) coming to worship the King.  Wow.  My kids were seeing something that I wasn't.  They wanted to be right in there, worshiping, getting to know the story, acting it out right in our living room.  They knew that everyone needed to come and worship and I am quite sure that shepherds and sheep and camels and poor urchins certainly would not have stood in a properly choreographed line.  The chaos they were creating in getting into the story was exactly what we should be doing.  I was acting like the apostles when they tried to keep the children away from Jesus. 

Have faith like these little ones... My first challenge for this Advent season.

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