With the turn of the calendar to December 1st, I wonder if other moms feel like me in that there is a teensy tiny bit of pressure to do something cute with our kids every day. And by teensy tiny, I mean a lot. My friends are instgramming their adorable craft projects, sharing on facebook beautiful family traditions, and talking about their Elf of the Shelf stories from years prior. And those Pinterest searches- well those will just about kill a girl, so I've abandoned them for now. Still, I do have a daughter who is starting to get it, that this season is wonderfully different from every other month of the year, that there is something coming worth decorating and planning and being excited for.
And yes, there is something coming. That's what the word advent means: coming. And the setting apart of these December days in special and meaningful ways has always been to prepare our hearts and minds for His coming, our Savior, our Jesus.
Something has changed in my heart now that I have little minds that I want so, so desperately to understand the magnitude of Christ's first coming, and it is this: I want so, so desperately to understand it myself. I want to feel the weight of Jesus' humble birth with all the anticipation of a nation of Jews who knew that they knew that they knew a Messiah was their only hope, coupled with the confidence of an age of believers who know that they know that they know He did come, and he did the work of redemption God gave him to do on our behalf. Because we have that precious gift of hindsight in our generation, we should be longing with even more desire for Christ to come again, for "the sun of righteousness that shall rise with healing in its wings" (Mal 4:2).
In Mark 9, a distraught father comes to Jesus on behalf of his young son, who needs the healing only the power of Christ can give him. He says this to Jesus: "But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." Jesus responded with the implication that it isn't even a question, "If I can?!" Of course he can. He is 'I Am.' He can, he can, he can. He adds this to the father, "All things are possible for the one who believes." And the man's response has become the most desperate cry of my own heart: "I believe; help my unbelief!"
Help me to get this, God, not merely on the level of memorization or the backings of intellectually sound theology, but in the mystery, in the same way that the angels long to look into this, help my unbelief! As we wait for your advent, may every story and every craft and every song and every chocolate candy only point our eyes to the horizon, where we look longingly for that sun of righteousness. May our journey through December be a heart surrender to the most beautiful gift the world will ever know, the presence of glory in the body of a man. As I talk my children through the things my mind knows so well, will you captivate my heart in the process. Make this advent truly about yours. Amen.