Author Ann Voskamp has been publishing Advent devotionals titled “A Spacious, Non-Anxious Christmas.” These are brief, daily videos on her social media to remind us to slow down and make room in our hearts, minds and lives for Jesus.

It’s a sad but true irony that we need to be reminded to make room for Jesus – the very person whose birth this season is meant to celebrate. But the holidays are a time when we are perhaps especially prone to become preoccupied with the good and miss out on the best. We have multiple family celebrations, church parties, work parties, gift exchanges…and the list goes on.

But to truly celebrate Christmas we need to slow the pace enough to un-rush our souls. Quiet our minds. Take some deep breaths and pray – talk with God. If this sounds impossible, dare I say it may be what you need more than anything else. If you don’t believe me, try it – even for just five minutes. Then consider how you feel – if your body is less tense and your mind is less stressed.

The past few days I was hoping for a non-anxious or at least a less-anxious Christmas. It feels like every time I turn around lately something else happens to someone I love. It seems like the world is spinning too fast and that God is near to us at the same time. Today, the word spacious caught my attention instead. I’m reminded that word is found multiple times in Scripture and always in reference to God giving his people a spacious place. Psalm 31:8 says, “You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.” (NIV) In The Message translation it reads, “You didn’t leave me in their clutches but gave me room to breathe.” (emphasis mine)

I love that! Isn’t that what we need in busy seasons? We need a spacious place, one where we can just be and where we have room to breathe. God will give us this place and He will meet us there. I pray you find it this week Friends – that quiet, spacious place to breathe and truly celebrate Jesus coming to earth to be with us. God bless those who join together in celebration. And God be near those who are grieving lost loved ones missing from their circles.

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. – Psalm 18:19

Pastor Cindy