Advent: Waiting. Hoping. Rejoicing.

There’s something different going on this Christmas.  Something untrying about it.  Something that’s saying no to the frantic, the pomp, the grandeur.  Something that’s saying yes to just being.

There were many a year when I wanted to have just the right wrapping/ribbon combination.  It makes the tree so much prettier when everything is decked out in coordinating colours.  There were lists upon lists of things to do.  All good things, mind you, but things to be done none the less.  Lists of people to buy for.  Lists of ideas for each of them.  Lists of treats to be baked.  Lists of addresses to send  Christmas cards to.  Lists of programs and events and on and on it goes.

Now hear me loudly when I say these things are good!  I love them!  I’m just not feeling them this year…

I feel like sitting by the fire instead of standing in a crowd.  I feel like snuggling under the covers and reading books instead of heading out to ride trains and see lights.  I feel like Gingerbread and Sugar Cookies are probably enough and we’ll just skip the other 17 things we normally have to have.  I feel like brown craft paper and random pieces of yard from the closet will be the perfect trimming for our gifts.  I feel like child-made school decorations on the tree rather than the pretty glass balls.  I feel like hot chocolate sans bailey’s.

This year I’m just soaking it in.

Soaking in the advent readings each night in our room.  Soaking in pepperminty flavours dissolving on my tongue.  Soaking in family and friends, just natural and calm.  Soaking in Jesus.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around what it must have been like to have heard things like,

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The
virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call
him Immanuel.

And then waiting.  And waiting.  Wondering.  Thinking maybe this is all crazy and it can’t be true and then…

I’m thinking on what it must have been like to be the angel that went to Mary.  Was their emotion in this?  Was there excitement at being the one chosen to deliver the news or was their trepidation as to how it might go?

Mary.  Dear, sweet, and willing Mary.  So young.  Not notably special.  But chosen.  I think until tears form in my eyes about this girl who took on humiliation and scorn.  Jeering.  Mocking.  I wonder if she held-fast in her heart what the angel had said or if there were moments of doubt.  I want to hug her.  To thank her for being brave.  She is so brave.

Teenagers, essentially they were, Mary and Joseph.  Teenagers willing and ready to accept what God had planned for them.  Teenagers who were one day planning to be married and the next were the parents of the son of God.  I want to treasure these moments as Mary did.  Not with fanfare.  Not with worry of being the perfect host.  Not with hustling out for just one more gift.  I want to treasure Jesus.  I want to bask in what it meant for Him to come to earth and behold that.  Ponder it.

I need this, this year.  I need more time to reflect, not bake.  I need more time in His word, not addressing envelopes.  I need more time just sitting.  Quiet.  Not worrying if the decorations look just right.

Advent.  A season of waiting.  A season of hope.  A season of thankfulness and rejoicing.  A season of Jesus.

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