Christians are preparing this season of Advent season leading up to Christmas, as a religious time to celebrate Christ’s entry into the world. For many in North America, it’s about going to Christmas parties, buying presents, and racking up financial debt to pay for presents for siblings, parents, children, nephews and aunts. For some, it might be a hard and lonely time. For others, maybe it’s a mix of everything. I hope this season, people can slow down to reflect on the reason for Christmas. We are a fast-moving society that’s in a hurry to get from place to place–from work to home to parties.
A prophet spoke of a people who didn’t take time to observe a Sabbath rest as God had commanded. They hardened their hearts toward God. They didn’t slow down to celebrate God’s salvation and worship the Lord as God had designed for them to worship. In a way, our society today has also hardened our hearts toward the things of God.
In Hebrews 3:7, 12 and 15, it writes:
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts“… “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness“… “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
As Christians, it is very important that we slow down and rest. In our rest, God can come into our busy lives. Manufactured hope, peace, joy and love do not last; it’s artificial. But God sent Jesus into this world to bring us something genuine. He came to:
- bring us an eternal hope that leads to salvation so that we may be with God forever,
- give us inner peace between a sinful humanity and a holy God,
- give us real joy that comes from God’s unconditional forgiveness,
- share God’s love with us.
These things are eternal and lasts forever. May God’s grace find its way into your lives this Christmas /Advent season.