“Christmas has lost its meaning for us because we have lost the spirit of expectancy. We cannot prepare for an observance. We must prepare for an experience.”
Thirty years ago I was pregnant with our first born child. My heart was full of expectancy; wondering if we were having a boy or a girl, wondering if the baby was going to come on their Christmas due date, and wondering how I was going to handle motherhood. Many thoughts and emotions were spent on anticipating and looking forward to the birth of our child. My time was spent in preparing the baby’s room; setting up the crib, sewing and decorating the walls with brightly colored rainbow wall hangings, and washing clothes received from various baby showers.
Waiting has never been a strong suit of mine and being a first time Mom, I wasn’t sure what real labor pains were all about. I went into the hospital in the middle of the night on Dec. 2 and then again on the 12th and finally on December 20th, our Lindsay Anne made her debut.
The season of Advent is a time of expectancy and a time to prepare our hearts for the Savior’s birth. During Advent we look forward to what is to come and to experiencing our longings being fulfilled. (Proverbs 13:12b) It’s His Presence, not the presents under the tree, that we set our gaze on. How does one prepare for the arrival of the King of Kings?
Before company comes over for dinner, I clean the house and work on food preparation. Preparing my heart for the Christ child involves repenting of current sins and keeping short accounts with those who have offended me. Forgiving others, doing random acts of kindness, expressing gratitude, and displaying God’s love to those who least expect it, are ways our hearts are made ready to receive Immanuel, “God with us.”
Advent is a time of anticipation; being watchful and hopeful that once again God will perform a miracle, just like the virgin Mary experienced. The angel Gabriel declared to Mary in Luke 1:37, “For nothing is impossible with God.” Where in your life do you desire God to make the impossible, possible? Do you need to see the miraculous in your life physically, emotionally or spiritually? Does a loved one of yours need a physical touch from God to heal and restore their lives? Is there someone close to you who is lost and needs to be found by Jesus? Ask. Ask the Christ-child to perform the miraculous for you this season. Ask Him to be more than enough for you. Ask Him to reconcile broken relationships. Be like Mary, who was described in Luke 1:45, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.”
Look for the Savior this Christmas season. Spend a few minutes each day reading His Word, listening to His voice, and waiting for Him to show up and make Himself known to you. Be intentional in preparing your heart for the King’s arrival and watch the impossible become possible.
“Let’s approach Christmas with an expectant hush, rather than a last-minute rush.”
1. How can you prepare your heart for the Savior’s arrival through repentance, forgiving your offenders, or performing random acts of kindness? Specifically, what does that look like?
2. What Christmas miracle are you hoping to see the Christ-child perform? Ask, expect, and believe.
3. Spend more time this season focusing on and experiencing His Presence, rather than the shopping, wrapping and giving of presents.