The countdown is nearly done, only two paper rings on the red and green Christmas chain dangle from the refrigerator magnet. The boys want details about exactly when Santa will come down the chimney and when are we going to look at more lights and can we have donuts tomorrow.
“I’m not sure if The Donut Man is open on Christmas Eve,” I tell them.
“Well, can’t you just look it up on your phone?” my six year old asks.
They know Christmas is about more than shiny packages and sugary treats. We talk about baby Jesus and how much God loves us and Noah loves that Christ’s birthday is just nine days after his.
“How about the story of the three wise kings?” he asks as we flip the brightly colored pages of the storybook Bible.
We’re getting ready for His coming.
But we’re also getting ready for ours. I’m getting ready for my Christmas. My presents for my kids’ stockings still need to be bought and wrapped and stuffed down to the toes. My meal still needs to be planned and shopped for and made. Maybe one last dusting of all my decorations artfully displayed.
But I don’t want these last two days of advent to be about all my to-dos coming to fruition.
I want to live out the fruits of the Spirit as I point my own heart and others to the joy and beauty of the Gift that’s coming. The One who came. Into the world. Into my heart. The Christ child. God’s incarnate, saving-grace Love.
I want these last advent days to be filled with His JOY.
I read Psalm 89 and let the words wash over me. Sing through me.
“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness
known through all generations.” (v.1)
Then I imagine.
I imagine Mary in that famous, ordinary stable, swaddled newborn tucked tightly in her arms, swaying like all new moms instinctively do. Oblivious to the strong stench of animals and post-delivery pain—too enamored with her new son, too overcome by her Father’s love.
I picture Mary and Joseph trying to keep their excitement in check. Joseph putting a hand on Mary’s shoulder as she steps toward the wood slat door; Mary giving her husband the “just relax” look as Joseph starts to pace again.
They must have just wanted to go tell everyone!
“The Messiah is here!” their hearts longed to declare.
“The Christ child, born of a virgin, breathing, crying, cooing right here in Bethlehem! God’s promise has been fulfilled! The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace, the Rescuer has arrived in the flesh of a tiny babe. I’m holding Him! He is here!”
Can you imagine their parental pride? Can you fathom their desire to make known God’s faithfulness and love?
As we prepare to celebrate the Savior’s birth, I don’t want to be fixated on making my celebrations perfect; I want to be fixed on celebrating His perfect love.
I don’t want to let this season pass with only passing smiles or passed out presents. I want the ones I know and love—even strangers on the street or the neighbor I wave to next door or the other frenzied mom behind me in the epic line at Target—to know of God’s incredible love. Of His wonders. His unending faithfulness
As it manifested in the miraculous birth of a Savior King? Absolutely!
But also in the nitty-gritty, grace-laced ways of God’s goodness working in my life every day.
The heavens praise your wonders, O Lord; I join them with the words of my mouth and songs of my heart. Thank you for your greatest gift of love, the gift of your Son. I am forever grateful—forever will I make your faithfulness known. Amen.
How have you experienced God’s love and faithfulness in your life this week?
How can you share His goodness with others?