Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Let the ADVENTure Begin!
The Advent Calendars are now being opened one day at a time...Did you have one of these as a child? I can remember having one that we eagerly opened each day as we counted down the days until Christmas...each little "open window" on the calendar gave us a new glimpse into preparing for Christmas...getting ready for the Baby Jesus to appear....the shepherds watching, the wise men traveling from afar, the angels singing, the star shining, the cattle lowing, Mary and Joseph preparing the manger...and finally the Baby Jesus making His appearance on Christmas Day!
Of course, we were also looking forward to all the other fun adventures of Christmas: Making up our lists for Santa...decorating the house, putting up the Christmas tree and hanging our stockings with care...baking cookies and candies, drinking hot cocoa with marshmallows, hanging candy canes on the tree and lighting candles in the windows. Singing Christmas carols and listening to choirs sing, watching special Christmas pageants. The sights, smells, and mysteries of Christmas...."I wonder what Santa will bring me this year?" "I wonder if we will hear him and his reindeer when they land on the roof and come down the chimney?" Yes, I believed in Santa...still do...It's a magical, wonderful time of the year...
Well, yesterday, as I was driving home from work I was thinking about all the things I need to do to get ready for Christmas...I haven't even started my shopping...not one decoration is set out...and except for the Christmas music playing on my car radio I haven't heard or sung any Christmas carols yet... I mean, I'm still recuperating from Thanksgiving and all of the joys and memories of that special time with family and friends...and still cleaning up from that. I just can't jump right in and get ready for Christmas in one day, like turning a page in a book and all of a sudden it's Christmas and everything is in place. Last year I wrote about this experience here: "Easing Into Christmas".
But as I was listening to the radio on my way home yesterday they were playing all Christmas music...and suddenly the music from Handel's Messiah was flooding my car with joy and majesty! I found myself singing along with the music...and a few tears started running down my cheeks as I remembered that we hadn't even gotten out our Handel's Messiah CD at home yet...one of our family traditions ever since we've been married is to listen to that glorious music as we get ready for Christmas. I was feeling extremely nostalgic and a little sad as I sang along with the chorus of "For Unto Us A Child is Born...unto us, a Son is given...(Click here to listen to this song) and then, when I pulled into my yard, what to my wondering eyes should appear? No, NOT Santa and his reindeer, but this:
I was so astounded, I just broke into tears, and started laughing, crying, clapping, rejoicing! God knew what I needed...and He placed this thought into my son, Benton, from Ben's Country Woodshop, to create this particular sign on this particular day, and surprise me by having it sitting out on our front walkway when I arrived home! Only God could do that in just this special way!
So now Christmas Advent has officially begun at our house! It's like opening a new window on our Advent Calendar each day... to see what new thing will happen to prepare the way for the Christ Child to enter in this Christmas. What special things are you doing to prepare the way in your home...your heart...your life?
So let the ADVENTure begin!!
"For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."