Advent Focus

We are 10 days away! Christmas is coming soon, very soon. Are you ready to celebrate? It’s easy to lose focus this time of year. The snow was falling yesterday. It was beautiful to watch it fall from the heavens to earth covering everything in a Christmas wrapping. I admit though, it was hard to focus. Every window was filled with a beautiful Christmas postcard. I couldn’t stop looking out the windows!

This morning, as I lead our Morning Prayer session at my church, my mind started to wander during my prayer. In fact, as we entered into the Lord’s Prayer, I began to stumble over the words. There’s nothing more embarrassing than mixing up the words that Jesus taught us. I lost my focus. My mind began to move to all the things I needed to accomplish throughout the day and during the next 10 days.

The words of the Scripture reading for the first Sunday of Advent came to mind this morning. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus reminds us to “Stay awake! Be prepared!” I even preached on this reading a few weeks ago, but I need another reminder today.

With all of the potential distractions that this time of year, we are called to stay awake, be prepared, and have focus. That has been and continues to be my prayer, that I will have focus on the coming of Christ during this season. It’s not always easy, but maybe if we look toward all the things that could distract us and remember God, then maybe we’ll be focused.

The white snow falling and on the ground can remind us of the words from Psalm 51, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Maybe the lights all around us on homes and Christmas trees will remind us of Jesus’ words in Matthew, “You are the light of the world.” When we gather with family and friends to enjoy good food and a nice meal keep in mind the “breaking bread from house to house, taking meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,” as we read of the early church in Acts 2.

Nearly everything in this season can point us to the focal point of why we do what we do in Advent. Everything can point to Christ. Maybe they’re not distractions at all, instead they can help us focus our hearts and lives on Christ, the true light, who is the Prince of Peace and Emmanuel God with us.

Have a blessed and focused rest of the Advent season!

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