Advent Devotion: Preparing to Love

Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. I love the decorations, I love seeing extended family from far away, and I love how people seem generally happier and friendlier in December than any other month. Growing up I also loved getting presents. The excitement on Christmas morning of unwrapping boxes to see what was inside was unmatched. As we prepared to travel on Christmas day to see family, my parents let us each pick one of our toys to bring along to keep us entertained on the way and once we got to my grandparent’s house.

Over the years that toy changed from a stuffed animal to a beanie baby, or a magnetic building block set, a new book, a Gameboy, and eventually to a cell phone. The point of these toys was to make my sisters and I happy. The older I got, however, the less I wanted a new toy at Christmas. My new favorite part of the season was getting to see my aunts and uncles for a few days out of the year, catching up with my cousins to see how they were doing, and listening to my grandfather’s stories about his interesting life.

As my grandparents got older I realized that the toys and cell phones and social media will always be there, but they won’t. The presents don’t mean as much to me anymore as the people I am surrounded by at Christmastime. So now, as an adult, I still love Christmas. It is a great time to get together with friends, old and new, and check in on each other. It is the perfect chance to spend quality time with family that we normally pass right by in the chaos of day to day living. It is a wonderful reminder of all of the people and blessings that God has placed in our lives, throughout all seasons of the year, and to be grateful for all that we have.

By Summer Swango

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:38-39

The depth of God’s love for us is revealed so beautifully in the birth of Jesus. He was sent to dwell among us and to show us what it looks like to truly love others. The Advent Season provides us with both an opportunity to be among those who love us and to outwardly show the love of Christ to others.

Which loved ones do you get to spend time with this Advent Season? How can you make that time together most meaningful?

Spend some time reflecting upon how you can show the love of Christ to friends, neighbors, and strangers. In these last few days of Advent, how can you be preparing to share Christ’s love?

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