Undeterred by the bloating of too much pie or the famous nap-inducing chemicals of Thanksgiving’s turkey, the Christmas season kicked off last week with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and, then, Giving Tuesday. Christmas is here!
I do LOVE the Christmas season. It’s a wonderful time of joy, parties, and singing. It’s a time of beautiful decorations, nostalgia, and a well-needed break from work. It’s a time for friends, family, love, generosity, and giving (there’s a reason that most babies in the USA are born in September-October!!)
The Christmas season can also be a blur. Our to-do lists grow, and our calendars can be over-full. It’s easy for Christmas to pass by us in a distracted blur as we rush to get everything done, see everyone, and do all that we feel we need to do to “have a good Christmas.”
So, how can we enter into this season, not grumpy and Grinch-like about “Who stole Christmas,” but with deep joy, warmth, and expectation? What would it look like for this season, this year, to be more about spiritual transformation than simply sentimental tradition?
This Sunday, and next week in our Daily Worship Devotions, we kick off the Advent Season by reflecting on Amos 5:1-17. This may be the first (or last) time you will hear an Advent Sermon from Amos 5:1-17! However, it’s actually a very appropriate, timely, and encouraging place for us to begin the Advent season.
In Amos 5, God:
- Reminds us that worship (celebrating and remembering) is not just “meant” to be transformative, but that it can actually be transformative!
- Cautions us that “good religious experiences” can all too easily become an empty and unfulfilling substitute for truly meeting God.
- Promises us that we can especially find God in the celebrating and remembering of worship.
- Declares that, in seeking God, we can truly find, know, experience, and live the beautiful and full life that we long for.
So, take some time to reflect and meditate on Amos 5:1-17 this week. Also, if you were traveling last Sunday and missed Pastor Alex’s wonderful sermon on Amos 4, I do encourage you to listen to that here.
Yours in Christ,