Advent: The True King
This December, we are honored to share four guest posts surrounding the Season of Advent -- all from those we love that have created memories and traditions that we believe will uplift and encourage your heart, as you and your family also prepare for the celebration of Christmas. Today, Terry Judge, (Phil's mom and my mother-in-love), provides the fourth installment in our Advent series. Phil still has fond memories of the way his family celebrated the Season and the special traditions that were formed over the years. If you're in need of encouragement and a refocus before the busyness of the 25th arrives, then we know this post will uplift you. We wish you and your family the Merriest of Christmases!
Why is Christmas meaningful to you?
The first thing that comes to my mind is that Christ came in the flesh and dwelt among us. Although the creator of the world is the true King, he came not with pomp and majesty but in the complete humility and helplessness of a baby. He came in a lowly stable. He came that I would have eternal life. In this fact, I can have great joy in preparing for Christmas Day. This only covers a small part of what Christmas means to me.
How do you prepare your heart for Advent during the busyness of the holiday season?
I prepare my heart by anticipating the preparation for the coming of Christ. We take time to decorate our home and our hearts and not rush through it. The craziness that the world puts on the season can so easily get you distracted from the meaning of Christmas. I like to take my time to pray for each of the people as I buy the gifts for them. My prayer for each is that God would continue to work in their lives. We also have an Advent wreath and we light one candle each week. On Christmas Day we light the Christ candle in the middle. This helps me to think about each week separately.
Do you have any favorite readings/resources that you use during Advent?
Dad and I pray Morning Prayer each morning from the Book of Common Prayer. Each day, Morning Prayer includes a Psalm, Old Testament lesson, an epistle lesson, and a lesson from the gospels. However, our schedule in the morning only permits us to include the Psalm and one lesson. The readings and the collect (prayer) for the week aligns with Advent themes. This habit helps us tremendously to focus on Advent.
What are some family traditions that make the season special and keep the focus on the coming Christ?
Dad and I would look for someone we thought could use encouragement or was in need and we would buy a Christmas present for them. We explained to the children that this was our Christmas present to Jesus. We would also bake cookies or brownies and on Christmas Eve bring them to the fire department, emergency room or the police department as a thank you for working on Christmas Eve. The kids would always remember which department we needed to go to. We had a great time making and delivering the treats. This Christmas Eve delivery included a stop at our city’s life-sized crèche.
About the Author: Terry Judge has been married for over 34 years to her husband John. She is Mom to four children and Nana to five grandchildren! Terry has worked as an administrative assistant for more than 20 years, and currently resides in the snow-covered state of Massachusetts! Terry and John are also active members of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church. Phil and I look up to Mom so much -- she selflessly loves and encourages all of us. We consider her the queen of hospitality, as she always knows how to make you feel at home and welcomed. The truth is, the 'Judge Home' has likely never met a stranger, thanks to her! We love you, Mom -- and we're thank for your wisdom and encouragement over the years!