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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  1. I want to take some time this Advent season to focus on His birth, remember all that He has done and anticipate all that He will do.

  2. "I find my heart seduced less by shiny wrapping paper and crowd-packed shopping malls, and more by the promises of the prophets."

    A line so good and something I want to be true.

    I love Advent too. Something so special in the savoring.

  3. Visiting from Write It, Girl...

    I love how Advent points us right to him, the author and finisher.

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. Beautiful post. Thank you for blessing me today and for encouraging me to spend time to reflect on the promises...

  5. Although I don't participate in advent in my own home, it is always refreshing to focus on the birth of Christ as well as His future return.

    Also, as Amy Sullivan said, the quote about being less seduced about shopping malls and wrapping paper is a very good thought. It's something I feel that we should all strive to be doing during the Christmas season.

  6. I loved this post, girl! When we take the time to prepare our hearts and turn them towards Him, we see such great results. Blessings as you celebrate Advent this year! :)

  7. I love your closing thoughts Amy. In all the prep for Christmas I never thought about Advent being a time to focus on the promise of Christ's return. Thanks for your encouragement to look at this preparation time with new eyes.

  8. I love the idea of staying alert as we wait.

  9. Yes! I love the anticipation and the waiting. And preparing for the second Advent, excites my heart. Thanks!

  10. I love this ... remembering that which is to come. Thank you.

    And I've enjoyed your carols, as well!

  11. Beautiful post! I love your blog.

  12. Amy I was reading an Advent devotion today that spoke of this same thing.

    We still await the complete fulfillment of the promise because He is coming again!

    Love your words! Happy Dec. 1!

  13. Amen, sister! I love this. Pastor was just talking about what you wrote at the end of your post. Yes, we are to stay awake.....
    Loved your post.

  14. Yes to this: "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." I am very much like this, too. This desire to focus just on Him keeps growing stronger each year. I just have to be careful that I don't exclude loving others in the process. (My default is to retreat just within my own immediate family to focus on Christ together and bypass all the "other" holiday "stuff." But I need to show love!)

    Thanks for these thoughts today.

  15. What was, what is, and what is to become. Advent is truly a wonderful time to focus on all three. Thank you for sharing this.