Advent…and so it begins. (Actually is began two days ago.) The countdown that marches us closer and closer to Christmas. I think of calendars with tiny little doors that open to reveal a piece of chocolate (eaten before breakfast, of course) for every day between now and Christmas. My kids used to get excited if they happened to miss a day for some reason and got to have two pieces of chocolate. I can remember having my own advent calendar years ago and the excitement and anticipation that opening every little door brought. One day closer…
Do you still have that excitement and anticipation or are the days flying by in a blur of to-do lists and to-buy lists? Advent is to Christmas what Lent is to Easter. A time of preparation for the coming celebration. John Piper says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” In other words, “In every heart prepare him room…by cleaning the house.”
Take some time to be still today, and in the coming days, to prepare your heart, or as John Piper said, clean the house. Marvel with me in wonder at the miracle of the season. Allow yourself time to take a deep breath and soak in the meaning of the season.
Jesus said, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.” (John 12:46) He came to light up our world, to rescue us, to pull us out of the darkness forevermore. The very first gift of Christmas, given to you, to me, was love and salvation, peace and joy, given in the tiny form of a baby, wrapped, not in shiny paper and sparkly bow, but in rags.
I look forward to going on an advent journey together. For tonight, lets kick off the journey with a piece of chocolate and recapture the innocent anticipation of the coming celebration.