They say that Christmas is a time for children – the Christmas lights are up around town, the TV adverts have been going on about toys and games for months, and the excitement is building up for the big day.
My children were actually very good at waiting patiently for Christmas to arrive. They wrote their lists, and then waited expectantly for all the presents and food and parties to arrive, confident that Santa, or their parents, were going to deliver just what they wanted and waited for.
I think adults have a lot to learn from children at this time of year, after all, Jesus did call us to have a childlike faith. I know how easy it is to be worn down with the busy-ness and work of Christmas, to lose sight of the real meaning, wonder and awe of this time of year.
That’s why I think the season of Advent is so important. It is a time of waiting and preparing ourselves for what is to come – and I do believe that we cannot really appreciate the wonder of Christmas unless we have held ourselves in the in-between time of Advent.
Week by week we will be reminded of how God spoke through the prophets of the arrival of the promised King, and God’s great plan of salvation. This child will be no ordinary human – he will be God with us, Emmanuel. And while we wait, we make ourselves ready for the coming King, in repentance and perhaps by spending more time with our Bibles and in prayer.
Finally – after all our waiting, Christmas arrives; and just like our children we can be confident that we haven’t been forgotten. There is a present ready for us – a gift of God for us and the whole world – Jesus the King.
I hope we can make an effort to enter into the season of Advent, to be as a child, waiting open hearted and expectant for the real present, Jesus, to arrive. We know that where meek souls will receive Him, still, the dear Christ enters in.
Have a happy Advent, Christmas and New Year.