I feel it -- in my neck whenever I've been carrying my backpack around too much or sitting too long looking at the computer. It's more than a crick in the neck, but a minor irritation.
I feel it whenever there is a lot of stress and tension. It goes straight to my shoulders and neck. The relief? Ice packs, heating pads, even working out helps ease the irritation.
Our Advent theme this year is 'Lift Up Your Heads'. It comes from Psalm 24 (v. 7) which references lifting our heads up to see the coming of the King of Glory. In church, Lifting Up Our Heads reminds us to look up -- to pay attention to the decorations that are gradually being put up in the church. Each week also shares meaning behind various decorations used in the church to get ready for Christmas.
The first week of Advent focused on the decorations of the Christmas tree, and evergreens. The evergreen trees point to heaven, reminding us of eternal life we will one day receive.
The second week of Advent focused on light. Before the invention of electricity, many would add extra candles to their homes to help chase the darkness away. Christmas lights and candles remind us of Jesus as the Light that comes into the world.
The third week of Advent will focus on Chrismons made by members of Zion. Chrismons are initials, if you will, of Jesus and the work Jesus does and continues to do. Chrismons will be hung on the trees during the children's sermon and after church on Dec. 15th. The Chrismons also remind us of God's love for us.
Poinsettias will be in the sanctuary on December 22nd. These red and green flowers serve to remind us of the redemption we receive through Jesus Christ. The Bible reminds us we were bought with a price -- the blood of Christ, shed for us.
With the arthritis in the neck, it is too easy to slouch a bit while sitting, to walk with my head down. Walking with my head up, though, is easier on the body. And, it helps me to also see what is going on in the world around me.
As we continue in this Advent season, take a moment to lift up your head, to look up and to see the world around you. More importantly, take a moment to lift up your head and see Jesus coming!