Happy December! The first day of this month always brings forth excitement that's been building since, oh, October?! The holiday section at Target seems to make its debut earlier every single year. And now, the most wonderful time of the year is finally here! The truth is -- there must be a deeper reason we all long for this special season of the year. Because you know what? The twinkling lights, thoughtful gifts, pretty decorations, special treats, and catchy songs only last for so long. Fun as they are, they only satisfy for a moment. We're all longing for something deeper, filled with meaning and purpose. If you're in the faith family, then you'll know this of course: Jesus is the reason for all the celebrating Christmastime brings. Without Him, there is no Christmas. So while we deck the halls and get gifting, may we keep Jesus, our true Reason for the season at the center of it all. May our cause for joy, and the outpouring of it, flourish from celebrating the coming of our Savior King.
It's been my prayer and my joy the last few Advent years for our Joyful Noise Advent calendar to do just that: to draw us near to God, prepare our hearts for Jesus' birth, and find stillness to remember the true reason we celebrate in the midst of holiday busyness. This year is no different! I am overjoyed to be starting the first day of our Advent calendar today, and I am excited to share something new right here on our blog.
Friends! Meet Joyful Blessings: the blog bestie bringing a  prayer for Advent days as we await the coming of Christmas. Each morning, I'll share a blessing based on the Bible verse in our Advent calendar. Praying through Scripture has an amazing way of aligning our hearts with the Holy Spirit; something especially life giving during the Christmas season. In the midst of busyness and noise (even the joyful kind!) I still want to find that sweet stillness in the presence of the Lord. Prayer does that. I'd love for you to join me! Let's begin.
"Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into His presence with singing! Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture."
Psalm 100:1-3 ESV
Let's pray together.
Dear God,
On this dawning December day, I come to you with a joyful heart. In all this season brings and in all yet to come, may my joy be rooted in You. Let every celebration, every decoration, every treat and tradition, be a sign pointing towards the true reason of Christmas: Christ Jesus! As You made us in His image, You made us to reflect and share the joy of the Gospel with others. May it be so in me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Blessing for little ones
Dear Lord, I make a joyful noise for you! May I love just like you do. Jesus, You are the true reason I celebrate. Above all You are very great! Amen.

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