Master of both light and the darkness,
Send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We, who have so much to do, seek quiet spaces
To hear Your voice each day.
We, who are anxious over many things
Look forward to your coming among us.
We, who are blessed in so many ways
Long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We, whose hearts are heavy
Seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness,
Yet seeking the light
To you we say “Come Lord Jesus!”
By Henri Nouwen
Chocolates behind paper flaps on a cardboard calendar, counting the days till Santa arrives! Family traditions dictate the trotting out of the attic each year some of the most creative wall hangings! Children long past the age of belief in Santa participate every year by parental mandate, opening flaps or opening pockets to countdown to Christmas.
But what if Advent is more?
I believe the answer is yes. For the past two years I have dabbled with Advent and I believe the waiting was never meant to be for Santa. The waiting is a deep tradition of waiting, and preparing yourself, for a Savior. Catholics and Lutherans often participate in Advent as a sacred tradition, but others of us have chosen the chocolates-in-the-Advent-calendar option. There is nothing wrong with having some fun, but knowing where the fun came from might provide a different experience, perhaps a richer sense of what we believe as Christians. It might generate some reflection, some peace in a hectic season. As the holiday season approaches, I could use that extra measure
of peace right now, how about you?
God designed waiting into every human story. He made Abraham and Sarah wait for a child till they were in their nineties. He made Jacob wait in Egypt till he was old enough to lead a whole country through a famine. Maybe you‘ve had to wait for something you really wanted: a job, a child, the salvation of a loved one, a house, a corner office, an opportunity that required time for multiple variables to fall into place. Waiting is hard. But learning to wait develops disciplines we won’t learn any other way. And we really have no other choice. So we wait.
Advent is an exercise in the discipline of waiting. And who better to wait for than Jesus?
Let’s make this Christmas different. Let’s wait!
Every Saturday, I will send an email with the daily scripture readings for the week. Many times, families light the candle and read the scripture before dinner, then blow out the candle after dinner. Because I do my devotional time alone and in the morning, I light my candle in the morning. Find the time that works best for you. May you experience a peaceful Christmas…in the waiting.
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