John the Baptist seemed a little bit nuts.
Between his choice of cuisine (locusts? really?!), his odd clothing (camel hair? really?!), and his odd choice for living quarters (the desert? really?!) he would have made for a difficult dinner guest.
He was a wild man. A prophet. A seer.
His message was simple.
Prepare the way. Jesus is coming.
Advent can be a time of holy preparation. Sacred space. Worshipful longing.
Or Advent can get swept to the side entirely in a flood of shopping, cooking, activities, Christmas cards, pageants, concerts, and parties.
It’s a busy season.
I get it, I really do. I’m a pastor.
When school is on break and work slows down for many, I’m usually feverishly finishing a sermon, and not just any sermon, but a Christmas Eve sermon. One of two days a year nominal Christians come to worship. So, you know, no pressure.
But here’s the thing: we have to say no to some things to say yes to others.
My encouragement to you this season is to say no often, so that you can say yes to evenings sitting still. Read your Bible by the light of the Christmas tree. Weep over the pain of the world and the holy, hungry, aching you feel for things to be made right.
Love your family and your neighbors this Advent with your time and your attention and your presence. They probably don’t need any more stuff. (I know we sure don’t.)
As a way to help, I’ll be featuring weekday Advent devotions here. Short, thoughtful posts written by a whole host of incredible people, each centered on an Advent Scripture. Read them with your coffee, with your friends, early in the morning, late at night, over lunch.
But don’t rush them. Savor them, especially these Scriptures.
It’s a time of holy longing. Lean into the ache, and push away the busy.
Christ is coming.
What are you waiting for this season?