Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saddle up your horses

I'm a protestant. I'm not completely clueless about Catholicism though as my husband was born and raised Catholic, from being an altar boy to a complete Catholic school education, his whole family is proudly Catholic. Also, I had a friend in college that was a strong Catholic as well and was devout at trying to persuade me in it as well. I studied it quite a bit, but it was missing a few key elements for me so I have remained protestant through these years.

Something I do find very appealing about the Catholic faith, however, are the traditions that are weaved throughout the church. One such tradition has begun this week, Advent. I have never celebrated the ritual and honestly only knew that there were candles involved and they were lit in the weeks before Christmas. I had no idea why though.

Well, today that all changed as I began a 25 day study(through youversion.com, if you are interested), working through the Christmas season as we look towards Advent, the coming of Christ..

I'm looking forward to how this study is going to stretch me in my growth and understanding of my Saviour and build up to something central to the Christian faith, the birth of Jesus.

Part of this journey is journaling, so I thought what better place to journal this walk then right here. They do bring some questions that I found interesting, so here we go:

Exploration: Discuss or journal about these two people who were blessed by seeing God's Savior with their own eyes. How can your life reflect this kind of anticipation?
Simeon and Anna had waited there entire lives to see the Christ. They felt as though they were ready to die now that what they had been waiting for had been fulfilled. Both were pillars in the temple and truly seemed to have a strong sense of the change that was going to occur in the world as a result of the prophecies. They spent years waiting and, I can only imagine, it must have been hard, but they really believed in what they were waiting for, they believed He was coming, and He did.

In my own life, I can reflect this anticipation by starting to think on things that are not of this world but fix my mind on heaven. Although I have to live here for now, always remembering this is not my home, I am an alien here. I should be praying and waiting for the day of Christ to come soon, turning my heart towards heaven.

Expression: Think about how you anticipate Christmas. How much of this feeling of excitement is centered on the arrival of Christ?

Christmas is an exciting time, but I can't remember a time when it was centered around the return of Christ. I've honestly never even thought of it that way. I've been happy to celebrate His birth, but never put it into perspective that that birth is the beginning of the end. As a result of that birth, I can look forward to his return. I can be thankful as I remember in that birth, there would also be a death and that death brought about new life, that new life is where I should be anticipating His return on THAT day, there is where my excitement should be.

To be continued...