Happy Monday morning to you! I hope this day finds you well in Jesus. I have a lot on my plate this week, as I imagine you might too. But I want to make you aware of something in case you’d like to be a part. With Christmas just around the corner, would you like something to help you—and, perhaps, your family—prepare your heart? My friend Becky Kiser and her wonderful team have created some great resources for doing so. I’ll let her share a bit of her background story and what led her to writing these resources.
“A few years ago, I found myself caught up in the crazy that was Christmas. I had just had a baby and wanted more for myself, my husband and my daughter. So I began the journey of making Christmas more meaningful. This journey hasn't been an easy one for many reasons. First, I love Christmas. I love the presents (both for myself and the giving). I love the parties. I love the magical feel that is in the air. I love it all and I didn't want that to change. Second, I so don't want to become one of those Christians (you know the kind that think Santa is just satan spelled wrong). Third, I had no clue where to start. Finally, there were very little resources out there that weren't super liturgical (nothing wrong with liturgy, I was just looking for something a little different).
I started asking people I admired how they made Christmas more meaningful and that's where I learned, really relearned, about Advent. I grew up in a denomination that celebrated Advent but after being a part of several churches since that didn't formally celebrate Advent, I had lost my connection to it. I was reminded of the beauty of slowing down, seeking Christ and being purposeful about making the holiday mean more than presents under the tree, the perfect holiday party dress, endless Hallmark Channel Christmas movies (or football games if you prefer), and a steaming cup of hot cocoa. All wonderful things, just not essential toward making Christmas mean something and celebrating the Christ that has come.
That year I fell in love with Jesus all over again. Not the wavy haired, blue eyed Jesus that's always smiling in the picture Bibles. But the real Jesus. The one who washed dirty feet and ate with sinners and healed the sick and rebuked the religious and died for me (and you) and actually rose again so we all could know freedom. He captured me all over again and I flat out wanted more of Him and less of the crazy.
I wanted to share this awakening with others, so in the Fall of 2014 we launched our first Advent study and that following Spring a Lent study. Now the team is growing and along with the Advent and Lent Studies we also offer other resources too.”
For more information and further reading, please go to www.sacredholidays.com.