I find advent as a gentle reminder of where to put my hope: in a small baby who would one day cover all of my sins to save me from them. A simple season of anticipation of what’s to come - in my own life and for the world. A time to reflect on what God has done in my life and hope and pray for what He will do. Advent may be my new favorite season of the Christian calendar.
Now that I am nineteen years old, the gift opening process has lost some of its magic. I can’t decide if this is because I don’t have a list of thirty-five different toys I want, or because I don’t open toys that my cousins and I sit and play with on the floor together all day, or some other unknown reason. I have found more joy in watching my young cousins faces when they open their presents. I can’t help but wonder if my parents watched my face like that.
It’s your life. It’s your choice. But this emphasis on individuality comes at a cost. We’ve become lonely and isolated, so consumed with self that we become a stranger to the other. Is this really the gospel way of life?
He stepped down from heaven to move to earth. To us. The real estate wasn’t better, that’s for sure. His motivation wasn’t better scenery and a shorter commute. His move to us was to make a way for us to move toward Him.
If I were to imagine myself there in Bethlehem all those years ago, walking toward baby Jesus in His manger, I imagine I would be met with an inner conflict. Yes, this baby is to be the Savior of the world; however, I think I would be wrestling with the thought of how dirty I felt in His presence. He was born as an act of love to save me, yet if this baby could comprehend all the struggles in my brain and all the sins I wrestle with…well, wouldn’t that be a tad inappropriate?