Today is the second Sunday in Advent. In a society that has lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas, many are already suffering burnout from all the pre-Christmas activities. The secular “Holiday” season kicks into gear earlier and earlier with each passing year. The reality of the materialistic Christmas is that people have forgotten the Christ Child. Christmas is not about buying the latest high tech gifts or winning the subdivision’s “Holiday Lights” competition. The four weeks leading up to Christmas are called Advent – from the Latin word Adventus – which means “coming.” This is a time not for the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and office parties, but is a period of waiting in joyful expectation for the coming of the Messiah. Christmas has been hijacked by commercialism and the secular society; we have forgotten to wait in darkness for the coming of the Light into the world.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. John 1:1-5, 14
The cure for burnout is slowing down to spend time contemplating the coming of Christ into the world. God created the world and everything in it from nothing. He created man for relationship with Him. Your life is a special gift from God. In God’s eyes, you are incredibly valuable and His unique creation. Apart from God, you are nothing. Those who attempt to live without God are abandoning the purpose for which they were made.
My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver. Proverbs 8:19
God’s Word is perfect and Christ was made man to be a living example of God’s love for His people. Christ is the perfect expression of God in human form. Christ is the perfect teacher, showing us how God thinks and therefore how we are to think. Christ is the perfect example, a model of how we are to live. Christ is also the perfect sacrifice and through His death, all sins have been forgiven.
And if you invoke as Father him who judges each one impartially according to his deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile. You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:17-19
The world places a high priority on achievements and status. But in God’s eyes you are more precious than silver or gold. You were bought at a price. Jesus sacrificed His precious blood by dying on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins. He created you in His image. He loves you more than you can ever imagine. Never lose sight of your preciousness in the eyes of God.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5
The pleasures of this world are fleeting. God’s love for you is the only thing of any lasting value. Place your hope in the Christ Child. He came into the world to save sinners. He loves you, your spouse and your family. Jesus is God Incarnate. He came to earth and lived in a family. He is the only gift that truly matters. Accept the precious gift of His love. Let it warm your heart. Some of you may have loved ones that have strayed from the faith. It is our prayer that the joy you know through a personal relationship with the Son of God will be a beacon to light their way home.
For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble—each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 1 Corinthians 3:11-13
Look for the coming of the Christ Child. He is your hope and salvation. Wait for Him, for He will surely come. Sing His praises, Alleluia.