The season of Advent begins this weekend. Advent gives us four weeks to prepare ourselves for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. A lot of preparations will be accomplished during these four weeks for family gatherings.

The temptation we all face is to fill this holy time with busyness and set aside the spiritual preparation for welcoming Jesus once again into our lives and world. I encourage everyone to keep peaceful hearts in this time of preparation. Schedule into each day some time of quiet that we can be at peace with our God and one another.

As we recognize with all of the ads that keep coming to our homes and businesses, the giving of gifts is an important part of the Christmas season. With peaceful hearts we recognize that the amount of money that is spent on a gift does not say that I love you more. When my great-nephews were younger, I always made sure that I brought them a large empty box. When the toys were set aside they had hours of fun playing in the box. The box became a racecar, spaceship, and whatever else their imaginations came up with (I did bring them more than an empty box).

When they grew older I noticed that they always wanted to eat baby dill pickles. The box went out and I gave each of them their own jar of pickles. It was a great gift!

Gifts are important. They say to others that I love you. During this Advent season may we give time to prepare for the gift of our God. The gift of God’s son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Father Greg Havel is the pastor at Church of the Crucifixion in La Crescent.

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Coulee Courier and Houston County News editor

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