- Invite friends over to watch “The Muppet Christmas Carol”
- Clean the apartment for watching of “The Muppet Christmas Carol”
- Make cookies to eat while watching “The Muppet Christmas Carol”
- Invite neighbors to the church Christmas concert
- Write Christmas letter and mail to long-distance friends
- Buy gift for my Secret Santa
- Print that picture to put in last year’s photo ornament
- Purchase flights to visit family
- Go to the craft store to get yarn for knitting gifts
- Make knitting gifts
This is what my to-do list looks like leading up to Christmas. And I would venture to assume that many of your pre-Christmas preparations are similar to mine. We easily pile on the expectations of ourselves and others to have a happy Christmas. We scour Pinterest for DIY decorations. We scan Martha Stewart’s recipes for delicious cookies. We search Ticketmaster for passes to that grand holiday concert. But are our expectations misguided? What if the tickets are sold out? What if my nephew doesn’t actually like the gift I give him? What if I burn the cookies? And what if my Christmas tree looks more like Charlie Brown’s?
I can still have a heart expectantly waiting for the coming Messiah.
After Mary found out she was pregnant with the King of the Universe, she wasn’t just passively waiting for each trimester to go by until she finally gave birth to Jesus. She was preparing for her coming son. She visited Elizabeth, she travelled with Joseph to Bethlehem to register for the census, and I imagine she was rounding up cloth diapers and blankets.
But she prepared with the expectation that her son would be the fulfillment of the promised Savior (Luke 1:46-55). She treasured these things in her heart and pondered them (2:19). She was active in her waiting and was mindful of who she was waiting for.
As we engage in all the activity of the Christmas season, let us have Advent expectations. May we remind our souls of the hope, peace, joy, and love we have through the Messiah whose birth we celebrate. May we experience the presence of our God who is with us in Emmanuel. And may we anticipate Christ’s second Advent, by preparing the way for the Lord in our hearts. Come thou long expected Jesus.
If music helps you to quiet your spirit and focus your heart, take a listen to this Advent playlist by Sojourn Music.
Today’s post was written by Melissa Lowther.