My Facebook feed looks different this year.
Over the past several years, November has been the time when people share every day something or someone for whom they are grateful. This year, I am seeing less and less of that and more political, divisive, hurtful posts. More accusing, more posturing, more positioning.
And, can I just say, while I understand the fear and the frustration people feel on all sides of the political spectrum, I feel so much like we are giving the enemy a huge win in the area of distracting us from the Gospel and from grace and from the hope we have in Christ.
This morning I read a powerful post from Lisa Whittle. In it she wrote,
But make no mistake: it is not us vs. them as followers of Jesus Christ with differing theological beliefs in Christendom. It is the The Kingdom of God vs. the prince of darkness. Let us not waste time buying into his ploy and fighting each other a minute longer. Right now, I’m calling him out for his tactic to distract us with the infighting and calling us out for our buying into it.
In this hard moment, let us not become discouraged, prideful or jaded. Let us not become deceived or slip into despair or fear. Let not haughtiness or right fighting take hold, lest we fall into sin and dishonor God so great. The remnant is about Jesus and staying faithful to Him, not a man-made label it applies to. The qualification is faithfulness, so let us alone be found faithful to Him.
Read the whole post, truly, it’s so good.
I’m sitting here in Panera tapping out words and crying. Yes, real tears. Because my heart just hurts. Like that deep ache of longing for the days when all things will be made new and all the tears and sorrow and pain will be ended. More and more, the cry of my heart is, “Come, Lord Jesus.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about Advent.
The season of waiting, of preparation, of yearning for Jesus. Advent officially starts this coming Sunday — but, for me and for so many others I know, the yearning of Advent has been happening for the past few weeks and even months.
Today, sweet mom friends, can I encourage you to embrace Advent as more than the fun activities, more than the calendars with chocolates, more than hiding an elf (or even a star), more than the crafts? There is not one thing wrong with any of those things, I know that. We’ve shared with you some of our favorite ways to keep our kids and families focused on the true meaning of the season.
But, today, can I invite you into something deeper, something infinitely more incredible than all the memories you can make in December with your family?
You see, Jesus came into a very contentious world. A world where the followers of Yahweh were a minority, were marginalized, were threatened and misunderstood. He came into a world where those who claimed to follow the God of Abraham had widely different views of what that meant in life and even in politics. In other words, Jesus came into a world that really looked a whole lot like ours.
I think maybe we forget that. I know I have.
We forget, or maybe we didn’t really ever know, that the leaders of the church were politically motivated and willing to do whatever they could to keep their power. We forget there were those who were in open revolt against the harsh Roman government, even to the point of violence. We forget the cruelty, the power plays, and the poverty experienced by God’s chosen people.
But maybe, just maybe, we need to remember.
We need to remember Jesus came into a dark and hopeless world. And He didn’t come the way the political instigators and the religious powers wanted. They wanted someone who came in with strong words and a willingness to say and do whatever it took to get things fixed. They were desperate and in their desperation they missed out on the One who brought the answers, the peace, the hope they truly needed.
Y’all, it’s a hard time in the United States and around the world. We live in a time when everything seems out of control and dark. And I think that’s why this year, maybe more than ever, we NEED Advent. We need to slow down and read the prophecies and lean into the story of this God-Made-Flesh, Emmanuel — GOD WITH US.
One of my favorite Advent resources is Ann Voskamp’s book, The Greatest Gift. I love Ann’s gentle way of pushing us back to the promise of the manger, the hope of the cross. Daily readings, space for reflection and prayer, Ann has, in her poetic and winsome way, written a timeless book for times like these.
Find hope, my friends, in the sweet assurance that the God who came as a baby now sits on a throne, interceding for us, loving us, and preparing a place for us to be with Him for eternity! And let’s start preparing our hearts for that glorious day even now.
With great hope,
My sweet friends at Dayspring have graciously offered a 25% discount on Ann’s book and the rest of their Advent resources just our Prayers for Girls community. You can use the code ADVENT25 and receive the discount and free shipping on items like Unwrapping the Greatest Gift (Ann’s book for families), the new Max Lucado Christmas book, Because of Bethlehem, and more. [affiliate links]
- The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
- The Greatest Gift – Paper Ornament Set
- Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
- Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado
- Because of Bethlehem – Premium Christmas Ornaments, Set of 3
- Jesus’ Birthday – Countdown Chalkboard Wall Plaque
- “The Twelve Names of Christmas – Christmas Ornaments, Set of 12”
- and more!