We have begun our Advent season and I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have been lacking some zeal.  Today was our first day back at school after Thanksgiving and it is always hard to go back to work after a long holiday weekend.  The atmosphere in my soul felt very heavy last night.  I was talking to Peter about it and I think we concluded that I am clinging to the wrong things in this world.  In general, I want my life to be nice and easy.  The reality is that my life can’t be what I want it to be because we live in a sinful world.  When I feel burdened, it is because I am relying way too much on my circumstances to make me happy.

I think it is hard to go back to work after a break because my circumstances feel good during break.  I love to get to spend all that extra time with my family and be able to relax.  I love to not have to answer to the clock and have more freedom to do the things I want to do.  These holidays and breaks are a beautiful thing and I think they help us replenish.  We are not meant to live in “holiday mode” our whole lives.  I have been thinking of it like church.  Church is a gathering place for one day a week to go and get filled back up after a long week of following Christ.  I need to put in the hard work to get to the payoff (or enjoy my payoff fully).

Now that Thanksgiving is over, Christ is wanting me to go out and do his will for my life.  Fortunately, I live in the time of the Holy Spirit and I am able to feel his presence right within my soul.  God’s people were so looking forward to Christ coming to be with them.

immanuel

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel which means, “God with us.”       Matthew 1:23

We live in a time where we can read all about our Immanuel or our “God with us” in the gospels.  We also have the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us through our days.

I was watching  Ann Voskamp’s first week of Advent video and it is all about hope.  The sermon made sure to emphasize that it is not just remembering that God’s people were waiting for Jesus to come the first time, but we are also waiting for his second coming.  It is a time of preparation for us to be ready for Jesus’s second arrival.  At that time we will get to spend eternity with Him and be done with all the pain and disappointment here on Earth.

Peter and I have been reading in Matthew and chapters 24 and 25 are all about being ready for Christ’s second coming.  These have not been my favorite chapters to read, but they are very important!  The wording always seems a little menacing to me, but I think it is because he wants us to know that we need to be prepared for him.  It is so easy to get swept up in this world’s distractions and not be prepared for our King!

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.   Matthew 24:42-44

I can feel that I am not fully prepared for his arrival when I am relying heavily on my emotions about the circumstances that surround me. This week I will be focusing on hope for my future in Heaven.  I want to remember that Advent is not just a remembrance of Immanuel coming the first time, but also preparing ourselves for his final arrival.  The hope of Heaven and eternal life with God is the greatest hope of all.

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