I have two Facebook friends who have recently had babies. They shared their journeys from first announcing their pregnancies, to showing their growing baby bumps with each passing month. There was great joy in every shared photo. Then there were showers when well wishers gathered to give gifts in celebration and preparation of the lives that grew inside.
Thanks to social media, I was able to be a part of the expectation of the pending births. I was able to celebrate with them and pray for them.
There’s a lot of preparation that goes into welcoming a new child into a home. Besides all of the physical needs like cribs and diapers, any parent will tell you that life is never the same after the birth of a child. You find that your life is never really your own again and almost inexplicably, you are happy about it.
You come to realize that you never really understood how full your heart could become or how much you can love another human being. When you see your child for the first time, you know you have had a brush with the Divine.
Yesterday, marked the beginning of Advent. It’s a time when Christians are supposed to get ready for the birth of Christ. There are four Sundays in Advent and then we celebrate Christmas Day.
The Advent season is a busy time for most of us. There are gifts to buy and meals to plan, decorating to do and parties to attend. It’s incredibly easy to lose the meaning in the hustle and bustle of it all and to get incredibly stressed and overwhelmed. All Christians have a common enemy who is all too happy to see that happen.
But, Advent is meant to be a spiritual time of preparation. Just as parents-to-be have to do more to prepare for the birth of a child than the merely physical, we are called to use Advent to prepare our hearts for Jesus.
We are called to remember what the world looked like before the birth of Christ and perhaps relate it to what some of it looks like now without Him. We are called to remember the faith of a terrified teenager and a man who stood by her even though she carried a child who was not his. We are called to remember angels who brought the news to the couple straight from God Himself.
We are called to reflect upon a city who made no room for the Messiah and possibly to ask ourselves if we are doing any better some two thousand years later. We are called to consider that God chose a group of hard working shepherds, who lived on the fringe of society, to announce the birth of His Son and perhaps to give those who live on the fringe of our society today, a second look.
We are called to remember and reflect upon the love of God and His perfect plan. We are called to believe in miracles. As the Advent season gets into full swing, I’m going to begin each day with a prayer that God will remind me that we are getting ready to celebrate the coming of the light of the world and that I am called to reflect that light to all who cross my path.
Perhaps you would like to join me.
Have an awesome day!