Advent season has begun, and more than ever before, I feel like I get to experience true anticipation of a gift closest to what it must have felt like waiting for Jesus’ birth as it was foretold, and what it feels like to anticipate the return of Christ.
See the season of advent is a time of celebrating and reflecting on Jesus’ birth, the anticipation of the best gift that was ever given, which is the entire reason we celebrate Christmas and what everything Christmas (whether you believe Jesus was Lord or not) circles around. Christmas is so magical and full of anticipation for a reason… it’s all about the best love story ever told. And who doesn’t get giddy over a good love story? Jesus told us to live with child-like faith (Matthew 18:3), and Christmas is a season that embodies that command more than any other time of the year.
As my due date inches closer, this child could literally come any second, I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas morning so that they can finally unwrap that gift under the tree they know is the gift they asked for the most. The best part is, like so many of us before we discover a relationship with Jesus, my gift I am waiting on… I didn’t even know the extent of how much I wanted or needed it until I saw it wrapped and waiting for me to open it. It wasn’t until I experienced pregnancy that I knew what this love was. How sweet to experience this kind of love and agonizingly long wait now, during Advent.
Isn’t it beautiful how much those gifts under our tree that we so meticulously picked out and wrapped for the people we love truly represent? The gifts you bought for mom, dad, your husband, your best friend… they represent Advent.
Now, because the Lord has given me a platform, I wouldn’t be using it well if I didn’t share with you the story of Jesus’ birth.
You may be a Christian who has ready the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke hundreds of times, or you may be a brand new Christian still figuring out this CRAZY story. Or, what really gets me excited, you might be here on my blog for some random reason -maybe the first time ever- and you do not claim Christianity. I am SO GLAD you’re here. You, my friend, are supposed to be here today. Right now. Yes, I am talking to you.
So, yes, the story of Jesus is crazy.
Like, if you really think about it… it’s a wild thing to believe what I believe. That is, that God sent a piece of himself in the form of a baby to grow up and walk with us, fulfilling a prophecy foretold hundreds of years before, and bringing the promise of oneness with the creator of the universe again following the fall of man in The Garden of Eden….
Yeah, it’s a little crazy. But I believe in it with every single bit of me, because I have experienced a relationship with Jesus that makes all of the crazy make sense.
Jesus’ birth was foretold from the minute God started the process of redemption after Adam and Eve separated themselves from God by listening to Satan’s lies and welcoming sin into the world. But there was always a plan of bringing us back, and the Old Testament into the New is the story of how God proved time and time again he was real, at work, and redeeming. As it was said it would happen, the prophet Samuel chooses David as King -son of Jesse- and the process of redeeming God’s people continues. Then in Isaiah, the prophet gives a word from God that the process of redemption is still happening (can you imagine being the people of God waiting thousands of years… hoping for oneness with God again?… ahhh the spirit of Advent!).
Read Below to see what I mean:
“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.”
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
So far, so good. All the proof is in the pudding, everything has happened that people said God told them to share would happen hundreds of years before. Then just as it was said, fast forward hundreds of years from David, and the king of the universe, the bright morning star, was born in Jerusalem from a virgin betrothed to Joseph from the lineage of David who came from Jesse.
You can’t make this stuff up. It sounds crazy, but crazy love is hard to grasp. God is hard to understand.
Jesus’ life, he did exactly what he said he would. He did exactly as the prophets of old said the son of God would do. He lived a life you couldn’t live because of sin, and then died the death you deserved because… again, your sin. He was sinless, he did as he said he would, and on the cross the story of redeeming love was complete. He absorbed the wrath of God, God hates sin and hated we were separated, and Jesus soaked up every bit of that as the replacement.
It is THE greatest love story. Period.
Now we get to pray and talk to God in constant communication because Jesus did what he did, and God did just as he foretold for thousands of years. (Have I said that enough yet?)
BUT HOW GOOD IS THAT? And, sometimes my logic tells me I am crazy for believing this stuff. But, I cannot deny the relationship I have with God. When I doubt HOW we got to where we are, I cannot deny the perfect love I have felt and live in daily. Faith the size of a mustard seed is all God says we need, and I can say I definitely have that. As I said above, my relationship with Jesus daily proves the crazy just enough to me.
I can’t deny my finger has healed the week of my due date after having a pregnancy tumor removed at an unreal rate. I have watched a miracle unfold, but of course I have… I prayed for it and God cares.
“For all the promises of God find their YES in him (Jesus). That is why it is through him that we utter our amen to God for his glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:20
I cannot deny that at 12 years old I asked God to make me nauseous on every single date I went on until I met my husband. And, because I prayed it, of course it happened. You can’t make this stuff up.
There are so many instances in my life I have seen God unify my heart in crazy, God ways with people, timing, and circumstances. That I have been prompted awake from my sleep to pray for things I had no explanation for, but come to find out was timely and needed at that second.
God is so real. That is what I am trying to get at here. The story of Jesus and his birth, the story of Christmas and all that the season of Advent represents, it is proven to me daily throughout the year in my relationship with Jesus.
Advent is a season of waiting and reflecting, just as the people we read about in the Old Testament did for years and years, generation after generation waiting for Jesus. They waited for this king to come, like a gift that they anticipated unwrapping underneath the tree. Like at 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant, waiting for a baby to finally be born.
Like Mary who was told she would be the one to carry the child of God for 9 months, and had to -at the worst timing ever- ride with her betrothed to Bethlehem on a donkey for a census BECAUSE Joseph had to go to the city of his ancestors… Jesse, David… Can you imagine? As a very pregnant women myself, no. I cannot imagine.
“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David.” Luke 2:4
God is the God of answered prayers, miracles, and fulfilling promises.
I hope you experience this Advent season in a new way like I have been able to already as I wait for Baby K to come any day. I hope you feel the anticipation of Jesus’ return in a way you’ve never experienced. I recently read that we are in between two different Advents right now. We reflect on the first Advent, the thousands of years God’s people waited for Jesus to fulfill the prophecy of his first coming and redemption. And, now, we are in a season of Advent waiting for his second return as it is foretold throughout the New Testament after his death and in Revelation.
I hope you know love like you’ve never known this Christmas.
Merry Christmas, my friends. Happy Advent. Happy waiting, happy anticipation.