Advent is truly a journey. It is a journey of our hearts and our souls to the babe that was born at Christmas time. Do any of you remember a time when you were in love? I mean those first wonderful months when you find yourself getting to know a new person. You asked all kinds of questions and you found yourself revealing information about yourself that you never thought you would tell another person. This should be what Advent is for us.
When you love another person you want to know everything. Though it may embarrass the person you love, you cannot wait to see their baby pictures, photos of how they grew up, and hear their parents stories about them as a young person.These are things you actually hunger for. This is the attitude we should have at Advent.
If we love Jesus we should want to know “everything”. The Gospels are certainly the story of Jesus, but they are also the way Jesus’ Bride, The Church, gets to know her husband. We should be hungry and excited when we revisit the birth ‘pictures” of Jesus in Bethlehem. This is the great secret of Advent to spend time to know, really know Jesus.
There are thousands of ways to do this. Read The Gospels. Take time and read about Jesus great ancestor’s in The Old Testament. Pray often. Talk to Jesus about everything and if there are things you don’t know about him, ask him. He has ways of revealing himself to us that we will least expect. As we do this the expectancy of Christmas will grow in our hearts and we will look forward to it as we look forward to celebrating a birthday with a friend or family member. If we know Jesus we will want to do the preparations for Christmas, because they are the preparations for a deeply loved person in your life. You will prepare for Christmas with the same attitude you prepare a birthday celebration for your best friend, your spouse or your children and you will find yourself doing little things just the way you know he would want them done.
Christmas is a birthday party. So search for the right gift. Prepare wonderful food. Invite friends and family to your home and celebrate. Play games, eat cake, and sing together. Tell stories about how knowing Jesus has changed you and how he has affected your life. Do this in the same way you would tell stories about a friend you have known for a long time.
Celebrate Jesus this Christmas. Do it with your whole heart and your spirits and your whole body. Celebrate with love and laughter. Turn Christmas into a gift for a much loved friend, instead of a list of things you feel you have to do because it is what ‘s expected. As you celebrate Christmas in this way, what was once a burden becomes a joy.
I would also recommend two books to you. The First, YESTERDAY TODAY AND FOREVER, and the second, WHEN KING WAS CARPENTER. Both of these books were written by Maria Von Trapp and you can find them on Amazon or better yet go to your local Christian retailer and have them ordered for you. These books are a wonderful way to begin to know Jesus as friend.