My 40th December & 1st Advent

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November 30, 2013 by Beth Hess

comethoulongexpectedjesusMy memory of Christmas mornings begin with sitting on the stairs as Dad finishes making coffee and turns on the tree lights. Mom heats the oven for special cinnamon rolls. My sister and I sit side by side in our pajamas. Wiggling. Uncertain of the exact details waiting around the corner but confident of overstuffed stockings and imperfectly wrapped presents.

Come on, Come on, Christmas!

Grown-up Christmases are different. Even when I get to watch the anticipation of children around me, I find myself lost in To-Do lists. And budget-stretching exercises. And guilt over undone things. And trying to force-feed myself an ounce of Holiday Cheer. Some years, I find a little spirit here and there. Some years, it grabs me early and hangs on. But some years, the season comes and goes before I get any jingle in my bells.

Come back, Come back, Christmas!

This year, however, having stumbled into several discussions on Advent, I’m already feeling my heart growing three sizes each day.

Because it’s not Christmas presents that are coming. It’s not a Christmas ham. It’s not kindergarteners singing about Rudolph. It’s not twinkle lights or an angel on a tree.

My Jesus is coming!

Advent is the season of waiting. Of hoping. Of anticipating things even better than stockings and gifts. From a previous post:

In all of this, then, I find myself in the season of Advent. And maybe for the first time in my nearly 40 years, I understand what it means. An expectant waiting for the Christ Child. A longing for God to show up in a new way. An understanding that expectant waiting includes the element of promise and hope and a deep, deep knowing that the thing you are waiting for is most assuredly coming. That in the birth of Jesus, God came to us in a way He never had before. That he still comes in new and unexpected ways.

Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

So this December, it’s the waiting for Christmas that has my heart the merriest.

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus!


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