Celebrating our first Advent season has been a good learning experience. I've realized how challenging it is for me to remain consistent and how helpful visual reminders are. I trust next year things will be adapted to accommodate where we are as a family. But I do know that this is something I will make an effort to do again. Preparing my heart for Christmas Day has been an incredible and needed season.
It’s funny because I thought the idea of Advent was kinda weird at first. I mean, if you have a quiet time daily, why would you need to prepare for Christmas? Aren’t you doing that already in your regular devotions? What’s different? For me, I’ve found that during my typical quiet times I don’t give much thought to Jesus, God Incarnate, being born in a (probably) stinky stable to save me from my sins. I believe it but I don’t often spent large chunks of time considering the miracle in that. That’s been the blessing of Advent for me. Spending time thinking and marveling about the plans of God, that He would take on flesh, that He would leave the splendors of Heaven, that He would come in such humility… all for us.
Most of our Advent "activities" are really experiments as I have no idea what will “work” with our kiddos. Anyway, as usual, I planned a quick coloring activity and had very low expectations. Here's the scene: I gave the kiddos a picture to color featuring Mary and the angel Gabriel. There was a Scripture reference that went along with it that I was to read. As I gave them each their picture, I asked, "What do you think the angel is saying?" I was so stunned that Joshua actually had an answer. He said, “Peace! I bring you good news!”
Those precious words caused lots of thoughts to run through my mind. But most of all, I just couldn’t believe how right-on my three-year-old son was. In fact, it is the best news.