The days between Thanksgiving and the beginning of the New Year naturally and hopefully draw us into a time of reminiscing and reflection. We look back and remember – and smile. Maybe cry. We miss those we’ve lost and enjoy those we still have. The unique and beautiful collection of people God gives us throughout our lives have a part in shaping us.
You and I are part of the unique and beautiful collection God gives to others. We have big parts in some lives and small parts in others. Sometimes we’re in their lives a long time, only a brief season for others. Long time or not, big part or small one – it is a part. Either way we can learn how to be the kind of people who give what all of us need: presence. Some call it with-ness. The kind of presence or with-ness that shows the other they matter…that shows we care. We listen and look and pay attention.
With-ness is the ultimate demonstration of love.
At Christmastime, we celebrate Emmanuel, God with us – the One who came to down to us, for us, to be with us. We also look forward to His second coming and observe Advent to remember that all things will be made new. His promises will be fulfilled. We wait with hopeful anticipation for His return.
Whatever memories, thoughts, or reflections fill your mind these days, you may enjoy these resources. May they help you look to the One who is our ever present help – Jesus. Who better to teach us how to be present with those He gives us?
For a creative way to observe Advent, Biola University’s Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts sends a daily devotional with a variety of artistic representations of images, stories, and music around the incarnation of Christ. It’s called the Advent Project and you can find it here.
More than the devotionals, the music I listen to during Advent draws me into contemplation. This playlist is an eclectic collection – old hymns, familiar tunes, odd instrumentals, and brand new songs. I hope you will listen with curiosity and wonder.
May we be especially mindful of God’s Presence and His delight in us this season.