Sunday, December 9, 2012

Enlarged in the Waiting

Remember that Christmas after you found out Santa Claus wasn't real? A total let down right. I've been trying to bring the "magic" back into Christmas for years. 

Christmas Day itself actually, is often times a let down. It's just one, single day. And before you know it, it's dark outside and you're sitting on the couch in some sort of sugar/food/gift coma surrounded by empty boxes wondering where the heck you're gonna find space for all of your new stuff.

I don't believe Christmas was meant to be just a one-shot-a-year deal. Hello, the 12 Days of Christmas? But even before Christmas Day arrives, there's excitement in the waiting. The anticipation. Days brimming with hope. And if you're the kind that follows, is interested in or even just intrigued by Jesus, there is MUCH to expect. The type of expectation that won't let you down. 

Around Easter time this past year I referenced a book called "Living the Christian Year" by Bobby Gross. Next to the Bible, I would venture to say that this book has had the most impact on my spiritual journey than any other book I've read. On the subject of Advent, he quotes another author who beautifully describes the waiting we do during Advent. 

"Of all types of waiting, the waiting of pregnancy is most like the waiting that we do during Advent. The waiting of pregnancy is like the waiting we do for God." - Wendy Wright from her book Keeping Watch in the Season of Christ's Coming

Think about it. When someone is pregnant they are consumed by it. And often times, so are the people around them. We throw parties and give gifts. We have such hopes and dreams of the future to come. It's all we can talk about. Scripture captures this beautifully:

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. Romans 8:22-25 The Message

In a way it's obvious. Christmas is about the birth of a baby. Mary was obviously pregnant. Of course pregnancy is the epitome of anticipation.

So things have been happening around the Martin household, both inward and outward, in light of this season of waiting. More on that later. For now, I'll leave you with a little something else from Mr. Bobby Gross:

"Advent is a season for waiting; we wait for the coming of God. We need him to come. Our world is messed up and we are messed up. We lament our condition and long for God to set things right, to make us better. So we pray and watch for signs of his presence. We do all we know to do so that we are open and ready. In the midst of hardship and disappointment we continue to wait. We wait in hope. We believe that something is happening in our world, something is taking shape in our lives, something large, light-filled and life-giving. Even in December's lengthening darkness, this seed of joyful hope grows within us. We are pregnant with it. In our waiting, we are enlarged. God is coming!"

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Maranatha... come Lord Jesus. Let it be about Jesus.