What is it about this time of year that makes our hearts ache? That makes us yearn for something more?
Is it a loved one you’re missing? An old friend? An old place you used to visit?
Is there a memory on your heart this year, in this season, that you keep revisiting? Why might that particular memory or person or place be on your heart this year?
There are so many people out there who are hurting, who are aching, and who are yearning for something more.
And in this Advent season, in this time of great waiting, when the whole world is in one giant crescendo leading up to that big day when Christ finally enters into the world… we know that there is something more.
In just a few short days, Christmas will come and go.
Will we be left with the same ache and yearning on the days that follow Christmas Day? Or will we find our heart’s desire in the Christmas manger, and be finally satisfied of our hunger?
One thing is guaranteed. It’s easier to hold on to Christ’s presence when we share the present of Christ with another.
Every one of us carries something weighing heavily on our hearts in this season of waiting. The question is – will we carry Christ to every one? Will we be Christ to every one?
Because if we choose to do this, if we choose to live with our homes and hearts wide open in this Advent and in the coming Christmas season, then we can help each other to know and to understand that there is truly something more. And it is Christ.
So how do we do this? How can we open our homes and hearts this season?
Here are three little ways that can have a big impact:
1. Ask & listen.
When you ask people what they’re going to be doing for Christmas and New Years, listen to their reply. Do they have family nearby? Would they appreciate an invitation to your family’s table?
2. Look up.
When we look up from our phones, and look out at the people surrounding us, we can take notice of little things.
Is there an elderly person who’s coming to church alone? Is there a neighbor whose car is rarely leaving the driveway? How can we serve those who are lonely?
Well, first we have to take notice, and then extend an invitation. Invite the person over for tea. (Seriously – or coffee or wine or whatever, but invite them over!) See if your family could come over to read stories together at their home sometime. Look up and see who might be lonely, and find a creative way to bring them into your life.
3. Keep events open.
Encourage your guests to all bring a friend to your home when they visit.
Invite people to join you who might not often be invited to dinners and events. Invite those who are new to town, and those who are poor and may be unable to repay you.
By keeping an attitude of “the more, the merrier,” we can extend Christ’s love to many without ever having to say a word.
“Then he said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:12-14)
It’s easier to hold on to Christ’s presence when we share the present of Christ with another.
Let’s not miss Christ this Christmas.
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