Monday, November 28, 2011
My Advent Heart
For me, advent is a time of waiting, of anticipation. It's a time of year when I read my Bible and can feel my imagination hovering on that thin barrier of pages between the Old Testament and the New. With every passing year, I find my heart seduced less by shiny wrapping paper and crowd-packed shopping malls, and more by the promises of the prophets.
And as I read the words of Isaiah 9:6, my heart thrills: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." The wonders of the world pale in comparison to the knowledge that generations before Christ came into this world, God knew this would happen and used Isaiah to tell of it.
As I read and pray these weeks leading up to Christmas, I can feel the stirrings of anticipation in my own heart. Some of it comes as an echo of those people in Israel so long ago, knowing that the time of the Messiah was coming and longing to see it within their lifetimes. As the days roll by, my mind tries to come nearer to Bethlehem and to feel something more than a distant memory, passed down generations, of that miraculous night when Christ was born.
However, there is another sort of anticipation, too. After all, we are promised that Christ will come again. No one knows the day or hour, but as Christ tells us in Mark 13, we need to "Keep awake," for the Son of Man will indeed come again. And so, in my heart of hearts, the advent season is not only a time of building up to a commemoration of something that has already happened. I also find myself being reminded of that which is to come.
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