Luke 21:34-36 (NIV)
34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
The Christmas season is upon us. Parties are being planned, decorations are being placed, gifts are being bought, and many are stressing about how they are going to have the Christmas they are accustomed to amid the challenges of this unique year. Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at Christmas and the return of Christ. So, are you prepared? Or has the anxiety of life weighed you down?
I think this year, the anxieties of all the things going on in the world around us have us all weighed down. This may be a year that we don’t get to see each other in those new outfits we bought just for church, we may not get to hear our favorite Christmas songs sung by the choir, we may only get to see Scrooge on TV, but is that really what Advent and Christmas are about?
Jesus wants us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, bury the dead, shelter the traveler, comfort the sick, and ransom the captive. So, what if this year, instead of worrying about all the things that we are not going to get to do, we focus on what we can do to better his kingdom and spread his love to others. You do not have to be inside a church to do that.
A few ideas:
Tell someone how much you love and appreciate them.
Tell someone that you are proud of them.
Tell someone you are thankful for them.
Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling.
Send a card to random people in nursing facilities or those unable to leave their home. Let them know you are praying with them.
Reach out to someone who is experiencing loneliness or self-isolation.
Donate to a charity.
Lend your ear.
Send an inspirational story of what kind people around the world are doing for others.
Donate to foodbanks.
Offer support to a vulnerable neighbor.
Offer to send someone a meal.
We may not be able to be in church, but we are still called to BE THE CHURCH.
God Bless and Merry Christmas!