A devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb
The celebration of Thanksgiving has become an opportunity to catch our breath before the mad dash for Christmas begins. Retailers attempt to lure shoppers to their stores, for the deal of a lifetime, on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. But, instead of speeding up for the holidays, what if we slowed down by observing the spiritual practice of Advent which originated in the 15th Century?
Advent was designed to help believers spiritually prepare for Christmas by focusing on what truly matters, the person and work of Jesus Christ. The term advent is derived from two Latin words which mean “coming” or “arrival.” On each of the four Sunday’s prior to Christmas, a different candle is lit in the advent wreath emphasizing a unique theme pertaining to the incarnation of Christ. The center candle, referred to as the Christ candle, is not lit until Christmas Eve indicating the long wait for the Messiah is almost over. Similarly, John the Baptist when he proclaiming, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” was reminding us that our hearts and minds must be prepared before we are able to receive the Messiah as our Lord and Savior.
Bargains and Black Friday sales will come and go. However, when you slow down and take steps to keep Christ at the center of Christmas you have gotten the best deal ever! That’s a deal you should share with others!