Welcome friends, to this season of Advent 2020.
The calendar arrangement this year already has us scurrying from the start. Thanksgiving leftovers are still in the fridge and today we set our hearts toward the manger. As crazy at it seems, typing those last few words welcomes my heart to settledness and hope.
One of my favorite authors, Walter Wangerin Jr., in his Advent book Preparing for Jesus says:
As a season of the Christian year, Advent is ancient. It goes back at least to the middle of the sixth century. Already then its observance defined not only the One who was coming, but also those who were faithfully and self-conscious waiting. It defined the peculiar people who looked forward to the coming of that One.
I love that! How can we intentionally set our hearts toward being the peculiar people who look forward to the coming of Jesus?
We become those people who look forward to the coming of Jesus when we are remembering people. We read the stories again and imagine what it was like for those who waited with expectation for their promised Messiah. We watch the miracle unfold as God became flesh, and we learn how to wait with hope and longing for Jesus to come again. As we return our thoughts to the prophets who foretold his birth, the faith of Mary and Joseph and the stories that gave them hope, the shepherds, the wisemen, the star, and the manger, may our hearts be calmed and our affections stirred toward Jesus.
Have you had a chance to read or listen to A Manger in the Middle of a Family Reunion (Week One, Day One from Wrapped in Grace) yet this year?
How will you carve out time to remember the miracle this season?