Today we begin a journey looking at the Christmas story as it’s told in the Bible. Over the next few weeks we’ll look at 4 aspects of the story and what we can learn from them for our lives some 2000 years later. Last week in churches around the world began the celebration of “advent,” the season of waiting for the celebration of the birth of Christ. While Advent wasn’t a practice people did after Christmas in the Bible there was a period of preparation and season of waiting during that first Christmas as Mary and Elizabeth waited for the birth of their babies and the fulfillment of the promise that God had given them and their husbands.
Every year we go through this season of waiting; kids (and adults) wait eagerly for the presents to show up under the tree, we count down the days and weeks to the big event, we mark it off with the weeks of advent, and little by little the decorations grow more impressive the closer we get to the big day. We look at the season with a sense of eager anticipation, Mary and Joseph were probably excited but most likely more worried about all the implications of the birth and the child that would be born into their care.
Waiting isn’t something that we do just during Christmas though, it’s something we do all year long. We’re always waiting for something, maybe it’s something simple and short-lived like a parking space, or maybe it’s something less end-apparent like a raise or new job. But during this season the waiting has such a big and obvious goal that isn’t going to be missed that it makes it more exciting and gets more people involved.
This week as you continue to eagerly anticipate Christmas I encourage you to also think about eagerly anticipating other things in your life in the near future and making better commitments to and deadlines for accomplishing the goals in your life.