Do you remember being a young child waiting for Christmas, counting down the days until Santa comes? As a child we were filled with hope - hope that Santa would place the gifts we wanted under our tree. We hoped that Santa would fulfill what our hearts desired. What if we lived our adult lives with that same kind of anticipation of Christ's coming - that Christ would fulfill our hearts desires and that the tree under which he would lay our gifts may come in the form of a cross that we carry daily, or a tree that protects and shields us?   

I've recently been shopping and came across a new game called Santa VS Jesus, it's a group party game where there are two teams - one is the Santa team and one is the Jesus team - and at the end of the game the winner "rules" Christmas.  I must admit this game has caught my attention and is intriguing to me.  Who does rule Christmas for you? Do we get so caught up in the secular world of gift giving and receiving that we forget the real reason for the season?

This week we watch the video on FORMED called CRUX and contemplate the following.  Share your thoughts as we journey together this Advent season!

  • Jesus was the fulfillment of the promises God made to His people throughout the Old Testament.  It is through hope that we as Christians can face our daily crosses.  What hopes do you hold on to?  What hopes keep you moving forward each day?
  • The presenter in the video (Bishop Hying) encourages that we live in the present moment - not in the regrets of the past or the anticipation of the future, but in the present.  In the busy-ness of the Advent season what do you do to stay in the present and be present to others?
  • Another point Bishop Hying makes in the video is to live a life of relationship with God.  Where are you at with your relationship with God? Just as our earthly relationships take time and energy to build, so does our relationship with God.  Are you spending time and energy to grow your relationship this Advent season? It's never too late to start - what's something you can do this week to spend time with God? 

Make a commitment this week to sit in silence.  Start with 3 minutes today and each day add a minute. Set a timer on your watch or your phone and just be for a few minutes.  Don't worry about what's next, just sit.  While you are in silence talk to God or just focus on your breathing.  Sitting in silence can help us to slow down and refocus on what is important.