The “why” of Advent, and how it’s too easy to miss Christmas altogether

– following the Magi in the right direction…

“Because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

Luke 1:78-79

The intentional heart of the Magi

– the path of peace

This: “If we fail to prepare properly, then we will likely miss Christmas – or at best stumble over the Christ child by accident, having blundered past all the best this season has to offer.”

Truth.

The path began, just a few days ago, in the context of Thanksgiving.

Today, with the intentional heart of the Magi, we can start moving toward the most beautiful time of the year by polishing the lenses through which we must look if we are to see clearly: Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy.

Sometimes I wonder if John the Baptist’s father (who was struck dumb by – Rebekah description – “The Angel with Attitude”), actually benefited from the opportunity he was given to turn things over in his mind, carefully, before saying another word?

When Zechariah finally does speak, he offers a beautiful song of praise and light (Luke 1:68-79). “Because of the tender mercy of our God… the rising sun will come to us from heaven – to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

So this year I would like to continue to look carefully through the lenses of hope, peace, love, and joy; but also through the lenses of light, grace, mercy, and promise.

  • HOPE
  • LIGHT
  • PEACE
  • GRACE
  • LOVE
  • MERCY
  • JOY
  • PROMISE

This year, more than ever before, we cannot afford to miss the true meaning of Christmastime. If we really want to engage the hope, light, peace, grace, love, mercy, joy, and promise that Jesus brings, then we absolutely must be deliberate, intentional, purposeful pilgrims.

Won’t you join me? You can read my best-selling Advent devotional, “In My Heart I Carry a Star” – and you can also check in with this blog as we talk about the companion words of light, grace, mercy, and promise.

In love, and because the promise of Jesus is both invitational and transformational – if only we allow ourselves to see clearly – DEREK

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