Cathryn Vitek   -  

I’ve been writing recently about rhythms of life, especially the rhythms that God has given us….the daily rhythm (evening then morning) and the weekly rhythm of Sabbath for rest and community gatherings to celebrate God. God also gave us the rhythm of seasons in creation, and fairly early on the ancient Church established seasons, too — a rhythm, if you will, for celebrating God’s goodness as shown to us in Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit. You may know the Advent season began last Sunday. Advent is from the Latin word adventus which means “coming.”

So. How do you celebrate a “coming”?

When a loved one is pregnant, while we might well celebrate that the pregnancy has happened, we don’t really celebrate what is happening during the pregnancy, right? We have baby showers to celebrate the birth that will be, not the expectation of the birth. I can’t think of a thing that we celebrate an “expecting” for… Instead, seasons of expectation are for preparing for the thing we are expecting.

Now, on the one hand we are preparing for the arrival of Santa. That is hustle and bustle and shopping and joy and colors and lights.

And on the other, as Christians we are preparing for the arrival of Jesus, the Son of God who left heaven, was born to a poor first time mom and overwhelmed dad, and spent at least his first night in the feeding trough of a barn. (do you think the animals minded? I always wonder that. Or were they just much smarter than we are and they knew right away the treasure that was before them?)

That barn was just the beginning. He grew up, had an amazing ministry of healing, teaching, preaching, miracle-making, calling, reminding, re-membering to God the Father; and then he died a criminal’s death. Naked. On a cross. For all to see. Just to prove how much God loves us. Preparation for this event is not the same as preparing for Santa.

Preparation for this event calls us, I think, to pause and to wonder at the truth that God loves us enough to do that. God loves you enough to do that. Not a generic God loves the “the world” (although that is true),

but God loves you (insert your name here).

And since God loves you enough to do that, what else might that mean?

May the wonder of His Love astound you.