Well, I guess it’s pretty safe to say that we’re in Advent now and we are getting closer and closer to Christmas. My kids can totally attest to the excitement they are feeling as they continue to talk about Christmas, view Christmas ads, and sit by the Christmas tree wondering why it isn’t already Christmas.
But what is it about Christmas anyway?
You all know what I’m talking about. Christmas just holds a special place in our hearts. This is why so many look forward to it. This is why this is a favourite time of the year for many children and adults alike. This is why Christmas is just known as the hap-happiest time of the year.
And I know this year will be different. We won’t be able to see our families and friends like we did just a year ago. We won’t be able to participate in the festivities and customs that we’ve enjoyed for years and years until now. We won’t get the same experiences that we’re used to.
But that doesn’t mean Christmas still can’t be good. It’s still Christmas. There are still a lot of things that are joyful. There is still Christmas in the air even when it’ll be different and something that we aren’t used to. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it’s just a different thing.
A different thing that we can embrace and make the best of. We don’t really have a choice otherwise. And who knows? This year’s Christmas might make next year’s the best Christmas ever in comparison…
Here we get the first of our two John the Baptizer stories for Advent. One image that I heard about John is that he’s the “trailer” for Jesus. In other words, it was his job to drum up the excitement of what is to come. And so he points to Jesus, talks of what life would be like, and brings hope to the people.
The thing is though, Jesus was already there. Sure, relatively unknown, but still there. Yes, his ministry didn’t start, but he was there. John was talking future tense about someone who was right there in the present.
And don’t we do that? Don’t we sometimes talk about something in the future when it can be had right now? We talk about things that we can do when we have time when we really can do them now. We think about the time that we can spend with friends and family once this pandemic is over when we can pick up the phone and call them up right now. We look forward to what we hope Christmas would bring when those things are here… in the present.
Hope is a wonderful thing. But let’s not let our hope overshadow the good we have now as well. Instead, we can find joy in what is now, with the hope that as things progress we will be able to see more and more clearly God’s grace and mercy in our lives.
Just knowing that God is present now, we are loved now, and that there is joy to be had now, gives us the hope that Christmas might not be so bad after all.
Have a wonderful week!