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Yesterday, the wait began. Advent officially kicked off, and like millions of Christians around the world, our family entered into the season of remembering the longing for the arrival of the promised Savior while looking toward the second coming of Christ.
Some years have found us struggling to fully embrace the preparation of heart signaled by Advent. Last year, when Christopher (and Babita) spent the bulk of December in Nepal and the rest of our number was here, stateside, it was a challenge to point our attention squarely at the empty manager and looming cross. I did what I could— and that’s all you can do, I believe— but when we finally gathered to celebrate the Incarnation, the usual overflowing joy of culmination just wasn’t there. Instead, I felt a bit like I had finally, blessedly, crossed a finish line and could move on.
This year, the urge to wait— and wait well— has been tingling just under my skin for weeks. Yesterday, I felt the floodgates open as permission was granted to enter with thanksgiving into Advent.
We’re using my book, Experiencing Advent, again this year. Last night we opened with O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and not for the first time I was awed that the Lord sent me musically talented children.
We read about Gabriel’s visitation of Mary, and the conversation was lively and fun. I love seeing everyone throwing themselves in to text, and digging into the meaning behind the meaning. The older kids know this story so well that they are able to encourage the younger ones to think deeper. Yes, Mary was stunned. But how was Gabriel feeling, do you think?
There was more singing, some laughing, and a very serious parsing of the term “bond-servant.” Scripture memorization assignments were handed out. And just like that, we were waiting. Waiting until tomorrow, when we can gather to do it all again. Waiting until Christmas, when we will rejoice at the birth of Christ. Waiting until Jesus returns, when we will see Him face to face.
We welcome the wait!