I wonder when the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day became the frenzied craziness it is. Oh, I suppose it was a gradual turning year after year…and is now a byproduct of our trying to make “grown-up” Christmas seem like it was when we were children. The wonder, the awe…the sense that something magical was going to happen!
Problem is, as adults we can’t recreate that sense of wonder because, well, we know too much. We’ve seen too many heartaches, experienced too many disappointments and we know how it all works now. The suspense just isn’t there when you’re the one making things happen, is it?
Yet we try…try to bring the magic alive…because I think, deep down we know…we know…there is something truly wonderful and magical about Christmas. No matter how elusive it seems to be. But what if we’re going about it all wrong? What if the wonder and awe has nothing to do with the amount of presents under the tree or the parties we attend? Nothing to do with the lights and shopping, music or decorations?
This coming weekend in the Christian world we enter the season of Advent a word that literally means “coming” and it’s a time we prepare our hearts to celebrate God coming to us. Think about that – what an adventure! God coming to us – to us! It happened, it still happens and Jesus invites us to come, be part of the true awe and magic of Christmas found in the most extravagant gift ever given…God with skin on, Emmanuel, Jesus.
We simply have to turn our hearts his way. Oh it sounds easy, but it takes skill and determination, just like the best of adventures!
So, this Advent you get a choice…in the midst of distractions and busyness you can choose to experience the wonder of God coming to you in deep and profound ways or just make it through the season. But I can tell you this…the mystery and magic you long for will only be found in one place…a stable, with manger, a motley crew of onlookers and a baby – who is God with skin on.
Join us this Advent season as we take on the Advent(ure) of preparing our hearts to see him, receive him, follow him. And experience once again the wonder, the magic of Christmas! – Pastor Jane Jebsen