Advent. The word comes from the latin word, "coming". And the definition in the dictionary says it is, "an arrival of a notable person, thing or event." The time of year we wait for the coming of Jesus, both as we celebrate his birth in Bethlehem and his second coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We prepare, we wait, we anticipate with great excitement.
For the past 19 years I have had the privilege of speaking at an event known as Advent by Candlelight. Perhaps you have attended one of these events where you live. An evening set aside as women gather around lovely decorated tables and share dessert and conversation. Followed by a program with special music and an inspirational message. The Christmas Gospel is read and usually some Christmas Carols are sung. A wonderful way to begin the Advent season!
I have just finished speaking at 4 different events in the last 5 days. Each one was a little different, but they all had the same focus, to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of Jesus. He's Coming! What a treat to meet new sisters in Christ and be blessed by the awesome gifts of the different musicians. There is something very special about taking time to slow down and pause and have an evening to focus on the real reason for this season. As I reflect on the music that I heard and the words that I shared in the two different messages; Peace that Passes All Understanding and Wise Women Seek Him, here are a few of the highlights and what I want to remember:
* "I'll hold you in the beginning, You will hold me in the end, Every moment in the middle make my heart your Bethlehem. Be Born In Me. Be Born In Me. " Chorus from Be Born in Me by Francesca Battistelli
* Stop. Enjoy. Eyes. Know. Wise Women SEEK Him.
* The blessing of being still and silent. "Be still and Know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
* Do you know Him?
* "O Come let us adore Him, O Come Let us adore Him, O Come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord." Chorus from Adore Him by Kari Jobe
* Singing Silent Night, Holy Night
* Hearing roaring thunder as we got started, being reminded of the power of our God and being overwhelmed that he choose to send His son to become flesh and dwell among us. (John 1:14)
* Sitting at a table with ladies that I now call friends because we all exercise at the same gym.
*Hosting a table with a friend and none of the ladies at my table knew each other, and now they do.
* Meeting someone for the first time with a big hug calling me her sister in Christ and having her gather with 4 others to pray for me and our evening together.
* Seeing friends I haven't seen in over 10 years.
*Being reminded there are different denominations and yet the same Savior Jesus!
*Hearing the Christmas Gospel read with passion, and knowing the story is true.
He's Coming! Are you ready? And I don't mean is your shopping finished or your decorating or baking. I mean is your heart ready to be His Bethlehem? May you experience the perfect peace only Jesus can give as you prepare to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. He was born for you!