This past Sunday, I challenged our church to a Nativity Fast. This is something that is more common in other parts of the world, but I wanted to introduce it to our church as a yearly event. This is a time of fasting as a way of keeping our eyes on Christ through the barrage of commercialism as the god of this age attempts to lure us away from the real meaning of Christmas. I encourage you to fast one meal a day. Fast one day a week. Fast in whatever way the Holy Spirit leads you until the evening of Christmas Eve.
The Advent season is not the Christmas season. Advent is a unique season focused on the hope of Israel for the coming of Christ before the angel first appeared to Mary letting her know that she would be with child. It has been 400 years since the people of Israel had heard from the Lord, but they never gave up hope in the coming of the Messiah.
As we celebrate Advent, we put our self back to this time hoping for Christ to come. Though, now we are not hoping for the birth of a baby, but the coming of a King. What a day it will be when He comes and His victory over the Ancient Serpent is final! And we will be with Him forever without sorrow, without pain, without bills, without calories, without hurt, without betrayal, without loneliness, without regret-what a day that shall be when my Jesus I shall see!
But even now, He is our Prince of Peace. The Lord desires for us to be filled with an inexpressible joy and a peace that transcends understanding. A peace in the middle of storms that have destroyed others, yet we stand strong against the wind and waves full of assurance that God is with us and He will deliver us. I hope for Him to come for all eternity and I hope for Him to come to me today, even in my storms. I hope for Him. This is the Advent season.
The purpose of the fast is to help us not become distracted by the red and green glittery things everywhere and forget the blood-red that flowed on the cross of Calvary. It is to keep us focused on the One born in a stable though we sit at family banquets. We deny our self as a defense against the lure of this decadent Holiday season.
It is not that we do not participate in the festivities for this is a time of celebration, but by fasting and denying our flesh, which is earthly, we remember that our joy does not come from the earthly celebrations, but the spiritual communion we have with the King of Kings who came to us first as a child born to a virgin.
Do not be dazzled or bedazzled by the devil’s attempt to draw your eyes away from the Reason for the Season. As we fellowship together, let our conversation honor Him. As we eat, let our hears by thankful for His provision. As we give gifts, let us remember that we give because He has given to us. As we receive, let us remember that each gift is symbolic of the gift we received one night in the little town of Bethlehem, in a stable, in a manger-God who came as a child, will soon come as the King of Kings, and now remains in our hearts and minds. He is Emmanuel, God with us.
If you will join with me in this time of fasting in preparation for Christmas celebrations, leave a comment of what you will fast and how you will work to keep your eyes and help others keep their eyes on Jesus this Advent season.
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