Advent is observed the four Sundays before Christmas and ushers in our preparation for celebrating Jesus’ birth. In some churches and homes there is an Advent wreath with candles that each have a unique meaning: faithfulness, hope, joy, love, and Jesus’ birth. This week we will discuss the second meaning: Hope.
As Christians, our hope is in Jesus and his returning to set all things right. We know that earth is not all there is and we look forward to the ushering in of God’s eternal kingdom. Celebrating Jesus’ birth reminds us of what God has already done in his ultimate plan of drawing all people to himself – sent his only Son into the world to redeem it.
Preparing our minds for Christmas is a very important activity. Often we can feel overwhelmed at all of the things we feel we must do – purchase presents for everyone we know, create and send cards to every living relative, decorate our home as (or more) festive as our neighbors.
Many of us need help remembering to keep our minds focused on Jesus and the hope he provides to us. There are several things we can do.
We can fill our minds with truth by reading the Bible and meditating on specific scriptures that help us find peace and remain filled with hope. We can read through the gospels’ accounts of the Christmas story to remember that God has a plan for everything and will bring it about no matter how unusual or impossible it seems.
Perhaps create note cards or artsy prints of verses that help you to remember the hope you have in Jesus.
Praying for God’s wisdom, peace, love, and hope can help center us in him. Taking time each day to place our focus on who God is and what he has done for us will help us prepare our minds for truly celebrating the Christmas season.
How do you prepare your mind during Christmas?