You may think that you have never practiced Spiritual Disciplines. You would be wrong.
If you have celebrated Christmas, then you have practiced Spiritual Disciplines. All that music, all of those candles, all that giving, all that singing, all of that charity focus, all of that family celebration, all of that scripture reading, all of that gratitude, and sense of anticipation. These are all Spiritual Disciplines that are practiced during Christmas.
Spiritual Disciplines is a stuffy phrase that is better described as Soul Training Exercises or Spiritual Practices. These are intentional activities that open yourself up to God’s transformation in your life. They are not for the super spiritual or type A personalities trying to show off. They are for followers of Christ who, for example, want to trust more (then try practicing Sabbath), want to break the tyranny of the flesh (try fasting), want to be more Christ minded (try Scripture memorization), or want to be more aware of other’s needs (try service to others).
Christmas, despite all of its commercialization, is the most spiritual time of the year. From Advent reefs to Candlelight services; to live nativity productions; the focus is on an event that is dripping with hope, anticipation of the divine, and the transcendent. There are so many ways to practice opening yourself up to God through these practices. So be intentional this season and make one of these Spiritual Disciplines a point of emphasis.
A good way to get started is to have a good Advent devotional or family study. Here are some of my favorites.
Good Dirt: http://a.co/01vmpMH
Advent writings from Ruth Haley Barton: https://www.transformingcenter.org/tag/advent/
photo credit: Lutheran Church of Hope