It’s not Christmas yet.
Despite what the malls, the radio stations and many churches have to say, we’re still in the season of Advent.
Advent is a critical component of our lives as Christians because it is the season wherein we’re called to intentionally wait, to live with emptiness, and to wrestle with the “not yet”. It is a time for us to structure our lives around anticipation of what is still to come, and it’s a reminder that God is still at work in our world.
Children understand Advent better than most adults. They know what it means to live in expectation of Christmas day, and they know what it feels like to yearn for something. Kids also understand that a big part of waiting is wondering – they love to poke around at wrapped gifts, to imagine what incredible surprises are hiding beneath the bows, and to dream about the mysteries of the unknown. For them, the ‘not-yet’ is tantalizing; anticipation opens up an entire world of possibility that most of us have learned to ignore.
Advent is hard work – it doesn’t just happen by itself – but it is a valuable discipline that forms us into spiritual maturity.
Is the rest of the world trying to push you to Christmas too soon? Have you longed for the joy of Christmas yet this December, or have you skipped over the hard work of waiting?