To Fast, or Not To Fast…

In early Christianity, the Church would prepare for Christmas the same way it prepared for Easter, through fasting.  Lent is the season before Easter which calls for a fast as a way of discipleship.  We fast during Lent as Christ did during His time in temptation.  Of course the temptation never left Jesus, for He was tempted until He completed His mission on the cross.  Advent is the season before Christmas and it calls for a fast as a way of preparation.  Four weeks of fasting to help prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ.  So the question that we need to ask ourselves is, do we fast or not? Continue reading “To Fast, or Not To Fast…”

How Do We Respond…

Why do we give gifts this time of year?  It probably is a tradition which includes the Magi giving Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh.  This is not a bad tradition, in fact I very much like the tradition of giving gifts.  However, lately I have been struggling with the quid-pro-quo manners of Christmas.  Am I giving to people to receive?  After receiving a gift is it proper to give one back?  These questions can also reflect our attitude toward God as well.  Why do I worship?  Why do I tithe?  Why do I do good deeds?  Is it because God has already done something for me?  Is it so I can receive something from God?  Have you had this dilemma in your life? Continue reading “How Do We Respond…”

Light in the Darkness…

One of my favorite things for this time of year is the lights that people put up to decorate their houses. Let’s face it, winter time can be a time of darkness. The days get shorter and the nights get longer, not to mention it gets colder. It can be a very depressing time for us. However, when we decorate for Christmas we put up lights. For me, colored lights are my favorite. My family never put up one color, we put up the multi-colored lights. I like to think that having different colored lights helps us to see the beauty that God has created. Continue reading “Light in the Darkness…”

Advent Patience…

As a child, it seemed like Christmas took forever to get here. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was some of the most exciting times in my life. The expectation of decorating the house, the tree, and for my life the church were all signs that Christmas was coming. This meant time off from school and of course presents. I am sure that all of us as children, once or twice, tried to sneak a peek at our gifts under the tree to see what we were getting. Christmas could not get here fast enough. However, no matter how much I prayed or wanted it to, Christmas would come when the time was right, no matter how long it took. Continue reading “Advent Patience…”

The Season of Advent…

“Tis the season to be Jolly” is the traditional saying we hear this time of year. As it should be, this is the season of joy. Of course, the question that the Church asks is, “why are we joyful?” Setting the Christmas season aside, for most Churches this is a different season. This is the season of Advent. Advent is the four weeks that lead up to the season of Christmas. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.” Advent is the season where we recognize the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We celebrate the birth of Christ, but we also celebrate, with full hope, Jesus’ second coming. Continue reading “The Season of Advent…”