In the same way, if we let our jealous, bitter, hateful thoughts toward another person—or situation—lead our heart and desires, we will forget about Christ. Ridding these thoughts from our minds is hard work, but realizing we need Christ back at the center of our lives—instead of jealousy, anger, frustration, or discontentment—is the first step in letting God redeem us.
This season is a reminder that “we are children, not of the slave but of the free woman. For freedom in Christ has set us free.” Whether we are old or young, we are all children that have been set free by Christ.
Whenever God comes to the world in childish form, imagination runs wild…stars, donkeys, angels, shepherds, wise men, you name it…everyone and everything is in the elaborate punch line. We all laugh. It would be rude not to. The joke, it seems, is always on us. Thanks be to God.
To be ready for Christ when he comes, our hearts must first be prepared for him. This is why the church originally celebrated the season of Advent before the season of Christmas—four weeks of preparation, candle-lighting, and quiet anticipation, followed by twelve days of feast and joyous celebration: the famous twelve days of Christmas.
The idea of God’s hand resting on us, through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, is a powerful image. It brings to mind the stories of Jesus’s hand reaching out to Peter over the waters, and Thomas’s insistence on seeing the nail marks on his Savior’s hands before he would believe.
In this Advent Season we plead for God to restore us; and we’re tempted to cry out for a former time when life seemed better. The truth is, if we could go back, when we got there, it wouldn’t be the same.