As I’ve been reading about the Sabbath, I’ve seen that there are a lot of ways God uses it for my good. But above all, the Sabbath is a day of rest. After six days of ordinary work we have a whole day to rest.
This Christmas I want the Advent season to be a Sabbath rest. There has been so much written and preached and said about slowing down during this season, not letting our cultural celebration distract us from the true meaning of Christmas. I get that.
But I want more.
Resting on the Sabbath is putting God first. It’s setting aside one day in seven to focus on Him. I don’t just want to slow down this month; I want to set aside huge chunks of time to focus on Him. I want to rest from an entire year of ordinary life. I want to be refreshed this season.
But I love all the Christmas traditions. I love decorating the Christmas tree and baking cookies and wrapping presents. I love singing Christmas carols and hosting parties and reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas. But even though these things are special for Christmas, they’re part of the ordinary life from which I need to rest.
I need to find a way to enjoy the Christmas season and set aside chunks of time to rest in Him.
I need to celebrate Advent.
So this is what I’m going to do:
I’m going to choose an evening to turn off all the lights except the Christmas tree and listen to Handel’s Messiah – the whole thing, not just the Hallelujah Chorus.
I’m going to set aside one morning to read and meditate on the entire Christmas story, including the prophecies in Isaiah.
When I plan my prep for each of the three parties I’m hosting, I’m going to schedule an hour to pray for each of the guests.
On Christmas morning, before I get out of bed, I’m going to thank God for His amazing gift of salvation. And when I think of my son during the day (he won’t be joining us this year), I will stop and thank God for His Son.
This Advent I don’t want to just anticipate the celebration of Jesus’ birth; I want to spend some quality time with Him.