Four simple ways to celebrate Advent in a meaningful way

Advent is upon us. It is a time set aside to remember and expect our King as He enters into human suffering. The season exemplifies joy and waiting as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

During these few weeks leading up to Christmas, Christians have the opportunity to understand the magnitude of who our King is and worship Him with our whole hearts. He is the God who came into humanity and experienced suffering in order to bring freedom. Jesus is the ultimate bridge-builder between God and humanity.

Therefore, as we celebrate His coming, we can participate and act in his likeness. We can mimic his actions by loving others, entering into their stories, and building bridges with people who are suffering. This is a wonderful way to point our hearts to worship Him.

Here are a few simple ways to build bridges this Advent:

1. Write a Letter

Everyone needs an occasional word of encouragement. Ask the Lord to bring someone to mind -- i.e. a pastor, representative, agency leader, friend, etc. Write an intentional letter and let him or her know you care.

2. Give to Someone on the Margins

As you prepare gifts for loved ones, remember to give to neighbors who are experiencing hardship. The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering is a great way to provide food and poverty alleviation for people in Texas and around the world.

3. Pray for One Specific Person or People Group

It can be overwhelming to know who and what to pray for when so many problems arise. This advent, consider picking one person or people group and pray for them everyday. As you read the story of Jesus’ birth, remember that He came because He loves them.

4. Rest

Holidays are busy! Calendars are quickly filled with parties and travel plans. As you schedule the next few weeks, consider carving out specific times for rest. Take a nap or a short walk. Read a book or drink a cup of coffee by the fire. As we let our physical bodies rest, it is much easier to enter into times of worship and let the magnitude of the holiday resonate with our hearts.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new glorious morn

Fall on your knees

O hear the angels' voices

O night divine

O night when Christ was born

O night divine o night

O night divine.

-- "O Holy Night"