Deep Thinking

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 9.31.55 AMWe are in the season of Advent.  What we mostly use it for it to get ready and ‘build’ toward Christmas.  However, the original intent of the church leaders was for a time of deep reflection.  Much like Lent  Advent is a season designed to prepare us by helping to open our ‘spiritual ears’ and help us see life with ‘spiritual eyes.’   The color for liturgical churches is purple.  I have heard that in the very early church the vestments were black in color to signify our unworthiness and need for forgiveness.  As many black dyes fade, they become purple.  Today purple is the color of the Advent season.  Purple is also a color that speaks to Jesus’ royalty.  In the past century the color blue has been suggested as an alternative to purple espcecially in Lutheran congregations.  It is argued that a deep, dark blue is the color that covers us in the dark, cold hours before the sun dawns.

Both Advent and Lent are seasons for fasting and reflecting on our growth (or lack thereof) as followers of Jesus and how we work to bring in His kingdom.   Part of the reflection of Advent is whether we are prepared for Jesus’ return or second coming.  Jesus told His disciples to “watch, for you do not know the hour” when He will return {Mt 24:42; 25:13; Mk 13:35; Lk 21:36 }.  When we turn Advent into just the time when we et the presents purchased and the decorations up, we miss a great opportunity.

I believe that spiritually we need periods of reflection—or meditation—or deep thinking.  We need times to really turn over in our minds where our life is going, what Jesus calls us to and what progress we are making in that endeavor.  I have written before of a Christian teacher, Ken Boa, who talked about “chewing on a piece of scripture like you would chew on a piece of gristle.”  That word picture grabbed me!  Reflecting deeply—chewing like on gristle is what we need to really think about how our spiritual lives are going.  For that matter is would do us well in all of life.

I hope you take advantage of this Advent season to find some moments for reflection and to intentionally turn over in your mind a promise of God, a call to deeper discipleship, a reflection on where you need to focus your resources for growth and maybe just take a step of getting more ready for when we meet Him face-to-face!

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