Wonder: Advent Anticipation

Today's guest blogger is Kari Scare. She has been a frequent commenter on this blog, and I have always appreciated her insights. I'm excited to give her a little more space to share them today.

Remember the excitement you had as a child when Thanksgiving just ended and Christmas was officially on its way? A month seemed like an eternity, didn’t it? You could hardly contain yourself and may have even attempted to end the waiting by finding where your parents hid the presents.

For most adults, anticipation of Christmas is usually slightly more controlled, but it still stands out from the rest of the year. There are the telltale signs of putting up decorations the day after Thanksgiving, climbing all over the house to string up lights, and of course buying presents. While the focus of your excitement may be more on others, the anticipation of Christmas can still grab a hold of you much like it did when you were a child.

Anticipating Christmas is nothing new. Young and old alike have been captured by its advent for thousands of years.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. And the government will be upon his shoulders, and he will be called wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Isaiah anticipated Jesus’ coming some 700 years before His birth. Mary anticipated His coming (Luke 1:46-56). Even John the Baptist realized the significance of Jesus’ coming while both were still in their mothers’ wombs (Luke 1:39-45). And we can’t forget the shepherds (Luke 2:15) and the wise men who sought Him out with great anticipation (Matthew 2:1-2).

Too often, we forget that anticipating something, getting caught up in the excitement of an advent, is largely what makes a memory so special. So often, the event itself is such a small part considering the time and effort that went in to planning for and anticipating the event. Really, what helps hold the memory of an event so dearly in our hearts and minds is the depth to which we anticipated and planned for it.

The story of that first Christmas – and the anticipation of it by the Jews for thousands of years before – illustrates so well the excitement of what advent is all about. And yet, we have another advent we are currently experiencing that, dare we say it, is even more exciting than the one that lead Jesus’ birth.

“Yes, dear friends, we are already God’s children, and we can’t even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who believe this will keep themselves pure, just as Christ is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3)

Have you ever even tried to imagine what life will be like when Christ returns? That’s what so great about anticipation. We can imagine what the actual event will be like, but it never ends up being exactly how we imagined. And when the focus is Christ, anything we imagine will always pale in comparison to reality.

Have you lost the excitement of advent? Perhaps it’s buffered by the busyness and the hustle and bustle of the many distractions this life has to offer. Challenge yourself to avoid being distracted by wood, hay and stubble and to instead get excited about why Jesus came in human form as a baby and to anticipate how his second coming culminates that purpose.

Let yourself get caught up in the excitement that comes with anticipating what’s coming by rekindling the meaning of being adopted into God’s family. Get a hold of the fact that on that first Christmas, God became flesh so He could relate to us. He gave up His kingly privileges to rekindle the broken relationship with man.

Rediscover the Christmas story by making His purpose your purpose. Decide to enjoy each day of advent by rekindling relationships in small and big ways. Refuse to let busyness and stress overwhelm you and steal that focus. Take back that excitement of anticipation, knowing that what God has in store for those who live for Him is way better than anyone can anticipate and imagine.

 


About Today's Guest Blogger: Kari Scare

I am a writer from Michigan. I’ve lived in Michigan my whole life, so there’s a good chance my blog postings will occasionally refer to our unique weather. My passions include reading books, magazines and blogs, pursuing a healthy lifestyle through exercise and diet, spending time with my two boys and my husband, and of course, writing. While these passions play a large part in defining who I am, please know that they are guided and directed by my faith in Christ. Everything I do revolves around His will for my life. I blog at Struggle to Victory and tweet at @KariScare.

 

Wonder: Rediscover the Christmas Story is an Advent series designed to help us pause and reflect on how amazing the stories of Jesus’ birth really are. To break through the cluttered busyness of the season and touch our hearts with the awe of what God has done. Let’s make this a season of wonder and worship, marveling together at our great God.