Take a wheel off, its time to slow down, and prepare for Christmas.
The Season of Advent is the period of four Sundays and weekdays before The Day of Christmas. It is observed by liturgical Christian churches, such as the Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic and Presbyterian. It notes the beginning of the Western liturgical year. Depending on the year, it will include part of the end of November and goes up to and includes December 24th. Therefore, it is a time near the end of our calendar year. It’s all condensed together so that preparing for Thanksgiving, I find myself preparing for the Season of Advent, Christmas, and New Year’s.
This time period of approximately four weeks, is a gift to me. It’s a spiritual time to slow down and evaluate my spiritual life. It’s a choice not to get pulled into the crazies of the holidays, but a choice I make to prepare my heart for the meaning of Christmas. During this time, I reflect and evaluate the past eleven months, so that I can offer up specific words and events of thanksgiving on the Day of Thanksgiving. Three days later, as it is in 2011, the Sunday following Thanksgiving is the First Sunday in Advent. From giving thanks of the past months, I start preparing for the New Year. I pray for guidance and discernment on my path and direction. For between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is God’s breaking into history in the Incarnation through the birth of Jesus, which reminds me that God has been a part of the events of the last eleven months and together we can plan an awesome future. As we celebrate God’s presence among us, we are also confessing our responsibility as a people commissioned to “love the Lord your God with all your heart” and to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
As with Mother Mary who awaits her new born child, Advent is a time of pregnancy for each of us. It’s a time of ‘nesting’; to re-evaluate our personal spiritual life. To clean, re-arrange, prepare the way for new behaviors, and commitments. How is God asking me to change my life with this new birth of Jesus in Christmas 2011?
What new direction, challenge, and opportunity is God asking me to accept in 2012?
Do you need some Advent time to reflect, walk with nature, and sit in the stillness that is Mason, Texas?
In earlier times, pioneers would literally take a wheel off their wagon. To make an advent wreath they would put some everygreens around the spokes and add candles around the rim. Taking the wheel off their main transportation or work vehicle, would aid them in slowing down their active lives to be with nature, listen to God, take time to sit still, and breathe in the peace of the season.
The Season of Advent is a wonderful time to slow down. Take a wheel off your busy life. And if your plans have you coming to Mason, by yourself, or without any local relatives or family near by to dine. Waking up in Mason on the Day of Christmas, there is a gift waiting for you. The family of Mason Texas invite you for Christmas Dinner. For the past several years, one of our churches, The River of Life, serves about 300 people a traditional Christmas meal. Everyone is invited, for it’s our way of ‘loving your neighbor as yourself”.