Preparing for Jesus' Birthday
The Christian year begins Sunday, December 3, with the season of Advent. Advent is a season of waiting. We remember Israel waiting for the promised Messiah. We ourselves wait for the
return of Jesus.
Christmas, the 12 day season that starts December 25, is better known than Advent in our culture. Many are confused however, and think that the season of Christmas ends(rather than begins) on December 25.
As Christians we know that Christmas is Jesus' birthday. We give people presents on their birthday, right? Each year at our Christmas Eve service we begin with a prayer. We see in that prayer some ideas for honoring Jesus on his birthday:
First, because this of all things would rejoice Jesus' heart,
let us pray to him for the needs of the whole world, and all his people;
for peace upon the earth he came to save;
for love and unity within the one Church he did build;
for goodwill among all peoples.
And particularly at this time let us remember
the poor, the cold, the hungry, the oppressed;
the sick and them that mourn; the lonely and the unloved;
the aged and the little children;
and all who know not the Lord Jesus, or who love him not,
or who by sin have grieved his heart of love.
Some of the things in this prayer are things we pray for; others are things we can actually do. Which of these ideas that "would rejoice Jesus' heart" are things you and your family can do in December? Perhaps there are some that you do seasonally each Advent & Christmas. There are others that you will take up as a habit throughout the year. If we as a church take up these practices, I think we'll be making good progress toward fulfilling our mission.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Rev. Richard Heyduck