Day 1: Advent, A Call to Ponder

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

(Is. 9:6)

Thanksgiving is hardly over, and I’m already seeing new Christmas lights set up daily. Already, I’ll spot the occasional Christmas tree glowing in the window of a house or apartment as I’m driving by, and the local mainstreet is already lit up with festive displays.

Last year, I hated Christmas. I honestly couldn’t wait for January—the lights would be down, jovial Christmas songs would stop playing, and my pastor would return to his normal series. I was recovering from a huge disappointment, and the cheer of the season simply grated on me.

I don’t know where this advent season finds you. Perhaps, like me last year, you’re processing some new loss, not sure how you’ll grope through the pasted-on cheeriness of the holidays. Perhaps you’re caught in the grind of busyness, barely catching your breath enough to realize it’s Christmas before the new year hits. Or perhaps you really do love Christmas, the traditions, the nostalgia of lights, trees, and gifts …

But do you ever stop to wonder?

This year, for the first time in my life, I’ve slowed down enough to ponder advent. Much of that pondering happens in the car, often as I drive the forty minutes to and from church several times each week. As I pass the growing number of light displays and reflect, I’m slowly developing a new anticipation of advent and it’s journey of waiting and wonder at the incarnation.

While you may not have a forty-minute drive to simply think, my prayer is that this daily, bit-sized journey through advent would encourage you to stop, be still, and wonder at the incarnation this Christmas. And ultimately, I pray this advent would cause us to know Christ deeper, love Him with increasing intensity, and worship with new, heart-felt admiration for the One who is worthy of all our lives.

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