Advent 2021: Thursday, December 16

December 16, 2021

Recitals, plays, shopping, parties, gift exchanges, decorating, cooking, baking, homework, finals… the list goes on and on of things that fill our time during the Christmas season. Good things! Events that bring us together, tasks that help us think about the people in our lives… if that’s the motivation behind them.

Oftentimes, we get too caught up in our “performance;” do they like my food, am I wearing the right things, will they like the gift, are my kids behaving? And not focused enough on God’s performance. Goodness, he sent his one and only Son because he loves us so much!

Why am I attending this party? So that I can be seen as important, so my family thinks I’m trying to make the season special, so I can try out a new recipe. NO! Because the Spirit fills me with love for this community! Why am I giving gifts? To check it off the list, so I can be seen as a good gift giver, so I can be seen as generous. NO! Because it gives me an opportunity to fill my thoughts with that person. What do they like, how do they fill their time, what makes them smile?

This year, I’m trying not to selfishly check things off my Christmas to-do list, I’m going to let God guide me through my interactions and chores. I’m guessing I’ll be filled with his LOVE, JOY and PEACE! And hopeful it will rub off on a few people :)

Jenn Odell, director of middle school ministries