**I wrote this post before Christmas...but I just got around to posting. Sorry. :-)
It is defined by Wikipedia as "a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas." The term comes from the Latin meaning "coming." "For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming." (Quoted from Wikipedia)
During the month of December, we take the month off from our "regular" school and opt for "Holiday School" instead. We have many traditions during this time, but one of my favorites is the advent calendar. Every year, we do a brief overview of the Old Testament, as we see Jesus in each story...waiting expectantly for his coming. We remember the simple and humble coming in Bethlehem. The manger.
And we look forward with great joy...because He is coming again. This year, reading Jotham's Journey alongside and lighting the candles...I found myself on Christmas morning with eyes full of tearful thankfulness. We had been reading and waiting. There was so much anticipation. And even though we knew the ending, we couldn't help but wonder anew at the God who draped Himself in human flesh. Two songs have been my favorite around this time of year. I have written before about "God With Us" by Casting Crowns. The other song is by Chris Rice, and it's called "Welcome to Our World." There are two phrases from that song that I have been meditating on:
"tiny heart whose blood will save us..."
Especially carrying a little one, thinking about this small and tiny heart....and with the complications of the pregnancy...well. This phrase is just so real to me this year. And the other:
"rob our sin and make us holy..."
When you think about that wording... It's almost violent. Rob our sin. That was what our Rescuer had to do. God knows us so well, He knows that our wicked hearts cling to our sin and wickedness as though we need it to live and breathe. It literally took a Savior, willing to drape Himself in flesh and steal the sin that we love so dearly, and then transfer righteousness to us in order for us to see and recognize the beauty of our Great God.
And so. During this season of "expectant waiting".... We wait for the Coming One, the Beginning and the End, and we wait with hope.