You don’t need me to tell you that this is a busy time of the year. Once Thanksgiving passes, we are off to the races. Some of us are already shopping for Christmas. Others are in the process of getting Christmas decorations up. Christmas gatherings fill many of our schedules. We here at New Journey will be adding Wednesday night soup suppers and the singing of Marty Haugen’s “Holden Evening Prayer” to our activities. And of course, there is the planning of who will be where and with whom for Christmas Eve worship and family Christmas celebrations.
These are not bad things. Our spirits soar as we anticipate Christ’s coming anew this year and as we anticipate special music and worship. Our hearts swell as we prepare for the gathering of family and friends. Perhaps then just a few words of encouragement: when deciding what to participate in during the weeks ahead, pay attention to what your body and spirit tell you. If you are weary, sit down for a spell. When anxiety threatens to take over, pause and breathe. Do not be afraid to say no to the activities that will tip you over the edge. Be intentional about protecting time to pray and meditate and worship—these are sure ways to hear what your spirit is saying to you and to hear a word from God in the midst of the busyness.
As we move through these days of anticipation, days the church calls Advent, let us support and encourage each other in our care of body and spirit. Let us remember that the God we look for in the coming of Jesus is already with us as we navigate the season. Because we are never alone, we can move through these days with assurance and joy.