Twenty-One. Days until Christmas, that is. It’s Advent. A season of waiting and anticipation. A friend of mine is pregnant. There’s no waiting, like that waiting! On Tuesday, she’ll begin her fortieth week. She is more than ready, to pop. She may not be shouting “Prepare the way of the Lord.” It’s likely, more like, “Come on now, baby, the way is prepared! Having never been pregnant, I can’t really imagine what her experience is like. My experience is informed by watching my two children come to full term. What I know first hand, is their births changed everything.
The rub of seeing Christmas decorations out in full force, and hearing Christmas music, three weeks before the liturgical season officially begins, is that Jesus has already come. The marketers are right, it’s Christmas! Of course, their preference is that we worship at “the house of Lord and Taylor.” Still, Christmas is here. Jesus has come. If you’re a Christian, That birth changed everything, too.
And now the obvious question. How has Jesus’ birth changed everything in your life?
When you wake in the morning with a new baby in the house, you’re typically exhausted. You were up at two to change a diaper, and at two forty-five, for a feeding. You fell asleep at three, with the baby in your arms. At five minutes past, she woke you and shared a gift of spit-up. At five, she simply woke up. On the morning you wake rested, you’ll rejoice; she slept through the night.
The holiday season is a busy one. Shopping, baking, parties, repeat. Children in school have performances, recitals, athletic championships, and banquets. They keep Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, too. Good parents attend all of these functions, and learn about each others holidays. It’s a challenging time, to think about waiting. It’s a challenging time for finding time to reflect (on anything).
It’s not uncommon for new parents to gaze in wonder at their sleeping child. That’s an experience that continues as they grow up. You forget the conversations of the day, and the arguments, or come to terms with whether you handled a situation well, or not. That is, if you’re thinking. Mostly, there’s awe as you look at their sleeping selves with love. Perhaps that’s the way we should keep Advent. As you soak in the beauty of your tree. As you admire, your holiday display or creche, take advantage of that still moment. Who is this Jesus? Maybe you think about it. Or maybe, you ponder the birth of the child Jesus, as a parent gazes upon theirs, with awe and wonder.