The 4th Sunday of Advent doesn’t always fall on Christmas Eve, but this year both land on the same day. As the season of Advent ends, new beginnings arrive in a manger in Bethlehem. For those of us that compartmentalize our lives, it seems that we need to tie up Advent nice and tidy before we venture into the Christmas season. This year I am looking at the two seasons with new eyes. God is challenging me to see Advent as something that doesn’t need to end because the calendar now says it’s Christmas.
Throughout Advent, I reached for Jesus in the quiet. Each moment of quiet was a gift. Somedays it looked like a few minutes and other days God granted me a perseverance I didn’t know I possessed. God called me to lean in, listen and learn. I found that this is a discipline that I am still learning but God is patient.
God asked me to intentionally invite Him into the quiet stillness. I wrote about this last week as I reflected on sacred intentionality. It’s one thing to sit in the quiet, but you add a deeper layer when you desire God’s presence.
This week, on the 4th Sunday of Advent, God whispers make room. When I first heard those words, I took it to mean making room in my heart for God. As I contemplated the thought more I heard God share the idea of being Advent people all year round.
I want to be the innkeeper who hangs an “open” sign all year round. Being Advent people allows us to invite Jesus into our daily quiet time. It’s not just a four-week proposition but a lifetime of love.
[Tweet “I want to be an Advent person all year. It’s not just a 4 week proposition but a lifetime of love.”]
May my heart always welcome Jesus and make room for Him to reside. Today I am hanging the “open” sign and welcoming Jesus all year round.
I pray you all find the space to welcome Jesus into your hearts. Make room this Christmas and never let go of the love that Jesus brought one silent night two thousand years ago.
Christmas Blessings, sweet friends! See you in the new year!
Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash
Here are the words from Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift that I share in the video.
We only find out where we are when we find out where He is. We only find ourselves… when we find Him. We lost ourselves at one tree. And only find ourselves at another.
Wise men are only wise because they make their priority the seeking of Christ.
All our moments, all our waking – all the globe is a looking glass to God, and the wise keep seeking the presence of Christ in a thousand places, because you only come to yourself when you come to Him. Ann Voskamp
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Happy 2018 to you, my friend!
Happy New Year to you too!
Mary, Merry Christmas!
I love what you said about Advent not ending because Christmas day has arrived. It continues, it lingers, we long for His 2nd appearing.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
Meanwhile, we celebrate, we encourage each other, we yearn, we move ahead.
Bless you, dear friend …
Thank you for these beautiful times of sharing this month of Advent. I have been so blessed to hear your encouragement each Sunday along the way. And, yes, I pray that I will continue to pause and listen for His voice, to stay open to to His call throughout the days ahead. Blessings to you as you enjoy Christmas with your family!
I’ve enjoyed your Advent reflections, Mary! This side of the manger/cross we have the unique responsibility of making room for Him in our every day lives – yet still, we hope in His return – with an ‘all ready but not yet’ kind of faith. Wishing you and your family a very happy Christmas! I enjoy seeing your smiling face surrounded by your precious boys and their loves. May your Christmas be filled with JOY!
I watched your video as I was making waffles for the family. The message is well-timed because, in true me-fashion, my mind is already racing beyond Christmas into a new semester of school, blog posts that need to be written, and projects I want to accomplish during break. Thanks for the invitation of slow down and carry the waiting and expectancy (the invitation! the welcome sign!) into 2018.
Blessings to you, Mary. Enjoy those boys and their lovely wives. Hope your celebration is special and memorable.