I love the season of Advent as it means renewal, hope, a blessed message from God, His love, redemption and Jesus our Savior all rolled into the story of the season. Personally, December 1 brings memories of my daughter’s arrival from Korea at the age of 3 months. We had been planning and waiting for her arrival but did not know exactly when it would happen. We got a call the night before that she was arriving the morning of December 1 at LAX. We hurriedly booked flights and made our way to Los Angeles. It was a scary but gloriously exciting time for our family and a day I will never forget. Seeing and holding her for the first time, bringing her home to Oakland and having friends and family members there to greet us was amazing. That day and that experience was indelibly imprinted in my memory and on my heart.
The story of Advent, Jesus’ miraculous coming to earth as a babe, is another story that always evokes memories for each of us as we encounter the living Christ in our lives. We are reminded of His humility and sacrifice in coming for us, leaving the grandeur and power of heaven for our sake. It is a sacrifice that imprints itself into the heart of every believer and helps us relive and rejoice each Advent season. Jesus is the reason for this season of the year and what joy He brings to our lives.
I pray that as we journey through this Christmas story of Jesus’ birth and as we experience the many people both earthly and heavenly: that we will be impacted by His coming in a new and fresh way, that we will focus in on the emotions and feeling this story evokes and that each story part will lead us into a deeper understanding of God. May we see God’s hand in each person and circumstance. May it lead us to realize that God is with us and in our lives just as He was that first Christmas.
I’m looking for the joy of the season. This year my verse was Habakkuk 3:18 “yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” and Nehemiah 8:10b “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Be strong, be filled and Be joyful this season! Jesus is reason enough for JOY!