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The theme of our Advent Season this year at Nanaimo Alliance Church is "Decluttering Christmas." Especially at Christmas, we are confronted with every imaginable option to fill our time with non-stop busyness, or mind-numbing entertainment and relentless social media, as well as filling our living spaces with things we don't need, probably can't afford, and typically have too little room for. Just look at garages and basements, closets and storage rooms. Our material lives are often an accurate reflection of our spiritual lives — filled with clutter that robs us of the space we need to breathe.

If we're going to experience Christmas in any deeper, meaningful way, it will only be possible by decluttering our lives, removing all the things we've collected that harm us. Only then will Jesus have the room to fill our lives with himself.

Each of the four Sundays in Advent will focus on a theme — Hope, Peace, Joy and Love — and we'll be challenged to declutter our lives so that these qualities can become truly ours. Then on Christmas Eve, we will celebrate the birth of Jesus, inviting him to renew our lives with his healing love and power, thus concluding our theme of Decluttering Christmas.