Although I wasn't raised in a church that paid much attention to the church calendar, the past few years I've found richness and meaning in observing Lent, Advent, and other Christian holidays. When I take 40 days before Easter or four weeks before Christmas to go deep with Jesus--why He came, why He died, what it means for me--I'm so much more engaged when Easter and Christmas actually arrive. So, although my ways of observing may sometimes be unconventional, I nevertheless try to observe.
For Advent this year, for instance, I am practicing receiving from God. He gives so many good gifts--the best of all being Jesus--but I so rarely take time to unwrap them and really enjoy them. So that's what I'm trying to do this year. I wrote about it in my column for Pray! Online News (you can subscribe for free on the Pray! homepage). If you haven't seen it already, here's a link to it:
Yesterday was the first day of Advent. I unwrapped "unconditional love." Today I opened up "Peace." I'm not sure what God will have for me tomorrow, but I'm eager to find out. Wouldn't you like to join me in unwrapping some of God's good gifts to you? Let us know how it goes.