November 30, 2009

Nov. 30: Prepare

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By Jonna Buller, a senior social work major from Goshen
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Prepare

DEVOTIONAL:
I am a person that likes to prepare. I like to plan and prepare for my day, week and sometimes month ahead of time. With school, this is very easy to do as all I need is my planner. I carry my planner almost everywhere and color-code my schedule. I’m known among my friends as a planner, who likes to have everything in order and prepared, so there are no surprises.

However, planning and preparing for Christmas and my spiritual journey throughout the year takes preparation and planning that is much different than for other events. I try to gain something new and different each Advent and Christmas season. Christmas is all about surprises, and I seek to open myself to welcome those surprises each year.

In this day and age, time goes by very quickly with our busy and often interrupted lives. We celebrate Thanksgiving, go Christmas shopping the next day, and all too soon Christmas and the joy of Jesus’ birth is upon us. I’m not trying to say that the joy that comes with Jesus’ birth is not validated. Rather, I am trying to say that we should not forget the preparation that comes before Christmas Day.

Not everyone’s participation is the same, or even similar – it could be very different, but I encourage you to take time to prepare yourself this Advent season. Take time to be present in the preparation and discover or experience something new this Advent season.

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Comments (14)

  1. Thanks, Jonna for your words this morning. It is a good reminder that preparation for this season is what we need to be able to receive the gift of Christmas (Jesus’ birth). I’m thankful for the season of Advent, that prepares the way for us. However, it is up to us to use this time wisely! Blessings to you as you prepare yourself this season as well.

    Rachel S. Gerber November 30, 2009 |
  2. This is so true! We have to deliberately slow down and be present in the moment to experience Advent. Thank you for the reminder.

    Maria Thomas November 30, 2009 |
  3. Nice message but where is the Scripture to do with it????

    Kate Huddelson November 30, 2009 |
  4. good thoughts. Just like the Messaih did not look anything like they expected, I find my own spiritual pivotal events hardly ever look like I expected either!

    Ann November 30, 2009 |
  5. I missed seeing the Scripture text.

    Elsie Rempel November 30, 2009 |
    • On Mondays, the devotions are based on a theme for the week. This week that is “Prepare.” Every other day includes a lectionary Scripture.

      Devotions Admin November 30, 2009 |
  6. Thank you Jonna for your encouragement to prepare for Christmas. I really like your thought on looking for something new this year that God wants to show me. Deb Lange

    Debra Lange November 30, 2009 |
  7. How true!
    I love the season of advent which i find rich in it’s scripture and meaning. I resent the materialistic world which tries to rob us of this depth & beauty. I’m happy to know there are others who appreciate the true meaning of preparation for the coming of Christ.
    Thank you

    sister pat muller November 30, 2009 |
  8. Thank you for pointing out we prepare for a surprise–something that we can’t predict or control. That puts us in a place of vulnerability and poverty and makes way for the glory of G’d to be born in us. Blessings on all of our preparation.

    Dolores Nice-Siegenthaler November 30, 2009 |
  9. Time flies faster every year I live to be older. Your message reminds me to slow down, think more intentionally, and anticipate. The changes that happen inside me are as important as planning special gifts, events, or church activities for loved ones. New growth brings forth a stronger faith for a new year.

    Madeline Gottemoeller December 1, 2009 |
  10. These comments are very meaningful for me. Even congregants at my own church seem to skip from Thanksgiving to “Joy to the World”. The whole process would be more significant if we spent more time on preparing, then celebrating on and after 12-25, instead of trashing the trees and the celebration as soon as the last present is opened.

    penney helms December 1, 2009 |
  11. I am like you in that I loved preparation. I not only kept my calendars close at hand and up-to-date, but I wrote my appointments in ink.

    And God laughed! So, although I still keep a calendar, I am careful to write lightly in pencil.

    As much as I plan, I’ve found that I must be willing to abandon my schedules to follow God’s plans. One should make plans and preparations, but be flexible to change mid-stream to follow the will of God.

    Nancy Brookhart December 1, 2009 |
  12. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. It is greatly appreciated!

    Mike December 1, 2009 |
  13. Thank you for sharing your insight through this Advent devotional. For those of us who are ‘planners’, the idea of actually planning and preparing for Advent is a comfort…but why is it that it doesn’t just come naturally, like planning for other important occurrences? Thank you for reminding me that actually engaging in advent (the preparing) is an act of worship in and of itself. Blessings.

    DeeDee Barnes Bruns December 3, 2009 |