Experiencing the Peace of Advent

Symbol of Second Sunday in Advent(Note: It was my intention to post this last Monday, December 9th. Somehow that didn’t happen, but to complete my series on Advent I am posting it today and will post the next post tomorrow.)

The second Sunday in Advent came quickly it seemed. In many churches and homes, someone lit the peace candle on the Advent wreath.

And now we begin to experience the peace found in the waiting begun last week.

The peace that is Advent.

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    and the leopard will lie down with the young goat;
    the calf and the young lion will feed together,
    and a little child will lead them.
~ Isaiah 11:6 (CEB)

In the midst of Christmas preparations — shopping for and wrapping gifts, addressing and mailing cards and sometimes a note included, decorating the house inside and out, picking out and putting up the tree, baking and eating, placing the nativity in a place of honor —

Is it possible to experience peace in the weeks before Christmas?

The message delivered in my church home this morning came to us from our youth pastor. A young man wise beyond his years.

Josh asked us to think about all the things we get caught up in during the holiday season, usually beginning after Thanksgiving or sometimes before and running through the New Year celebrations. It’s easy to let the preparations overshadow the importance of relationships, the importance of the season, the reality of how we came to be and are here to celebrate the season.

Josh suggested a simple exercise to keep our focus:

During the holidays especially, but at any time you feel you’re
letting things overshadow your relationships with family, friends
and especially God and His purpose for you,
stop and take a deep breath.

Allow the breath of God to move in you and sense the calm only He can give.

Already today I’ve taken in a couple of deep breaths on looking at my calendar for the week and on into the next. While attempting to help someone with computer problems, I found my patience growing thin and so I breathed deeply for just a moment.

You know what? It works. Simply breathing deeply connects me to Him.

Take a moment to listen to Steve Green sing the hymn, Breathe on Me, Breath of God, and allow God’s goodness to touch you as you wait for the Christ Child’s coming and allow yourself to be enveloped not only by His love but also by the love of family and friends.

How do you deal with the stresses of the season? How do you keep your focus on God and the reason we are here to celebrate this joyous season?