Advent Fail

Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. – Colossians 3:12-14 (CEB)

When I was in preaching class, one of my classmates preached on Colossians 3.  She challenged us, asking whether we spent more time each day determining the clothes we would put on – or how we would put on Christ that day.

I can promise you that everyone in that class – men and women alike – thought more about their clothes.

I can also confess to you that I am not good about doing daily devotions with my kids during Advent and Lent.  It’s not that I don’t have materials – the church makes them available to us every year.  It just that I have a hard time making it a priority in the midst of an ever-changing schedule that includes school, sports, meals, and other church activities.  Advent fail.

If you raise your hand to share this confession with me, let me offer you this truth:  Christmas and Easter still come – and Jesus will still come back – even if we fall short of these seasonal, daily devotions.  Thank God (really).  And for those of you who are able to successfully navigate this spiritual discipline, I thank you as well.  As part of the Body of Christ, I claim my participation in your faithfulness.  😉

As I sat in class listening to this sermon, I was doubly convicted.  I did think more about my clothes each day, and I wasn’t even good at daily devotions when someone provided me guidance.  So I decided to combine them.

That Advent, instead of a daily devotion, I printed up Romans 9:9-21, Galatians 5:22-23, Philippians 2:1-11, and Colossians 3:12-17.  Then, I created a little calendar with each day in Advent and our names across the top.  Each morning, we chose one attribute

of Christ we were going to “put on” that day.  To remember that we put it on, we wore something different that we’d notice (this was the Advent I wore a scarf everyday).  I bought a few cross necklaces and wristbands from Oriental Trading the boys could wear (or they wore one of the medals from the races I do – I’m not fast, they’re finisher medals).  One day, I would put on love; another day, patience.

As I mentioned on Thanksgiving, I have been painting rocks during my Sabbath. This year, our “putting on” will be holding on to one of these rocks each day.  Even though we can’t wear it, we will still go through the discipline of putting on Christ each day.  And hopefully the rock will remind us of in Whom we rely and find our life.  Come, Lord Jesus, come.

2013-12-01 17.10.36

In the beginning was the Word
            and the Word was with God
            and the Word was God.
The Word was with God in the beginning.
Everything came into being through the Word,
            and without the Word
            nothing came into being.
What came into being
            through the Word was life,
            and the life was the light for all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
            and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.
The Word became flesh
            and made his home among us.
We have seen his glory,
            glory like that of a father’s only son,
                        full of grace and truth. – John 1:1-5, 14 (CEB)

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