Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Advent has taken on a whole new meaning for me this year. During Advent, we talk about preparation and waiting for Emmanuel to come. I've read the stories of Mary, Joseph and Elizabeth and I've often wondered what that first Christmas must have been like. Well, this year I am waiting for the birth of my firstborn. There is this tiny miracle growing inside of me, kicking and stretching and making everything I thought I knew about life seem almost silly. Normally this season would fly by with parties, activities, shopping and work, but this year I find myself sitting back a little bit, thinking about what it means to prepare.

No matter how much I do or how much I run around and how many lists I make, Christmas will come and in a few more weeks, so will my son, Jacob. There is no way for me to be completely prepared for either one. Eight more days won't turn me into the perfect person and eight more weeks won't give me nearly enough time to transform into the perfect mother. But, then again, that's not the point.

You see, we can't deserve the gift of Jesus Christ nor can we fully understand what it means for God to become human so that we can become His children. But that's exactly why it's a gift - just like our children are gifts.

I don't think Advent has anything to do with having 4 weeks to prepare and become perfectly ready to receive Christ into our lives. I think it has everything to do with a time and space in our busy, chaotic lives to step back and stand in awe of who God is, preparing our hearts to simply receive the most incredible gift the world has ever and will ever receive.