December 9, 2011

Recently, I received a note from a close friend who told me the Advent season would have new meaning for me from this point forward. She was right. As John and I complete a rigorous semester of school, we are awaiting the birth of our first child. Not knowing when he will decide to introduce himself to the world, we are challenged to be on God’s time and to have faith.
This is similar to the expectation placed on Mary, who was awaiting the birth of her son Jesus. Throughout this time, she seemed so calm. But Mary did more than just wait. She also made a hard journey on a donkey to Bethlehem, Joseph’s hometown. When they arrived, there was only a barn where she could rest. Her heart stayed calm as she prepared for the birth of her child because she trusted God.
Each week during Advent we light candles and read stories to plan for the incarnation. We are encouraged to find time to fully soak in the presence of God. While awaiting Christ’s birth, John and I are arranging the baby’s room, cleaning clothes, and getting ready for our new arrival. The waiting game is hard, but it is in these moments that I realize what a wonderful gift God has given us not only as future parents but also as Christians. In Advent we can either be rushed by the frenetic pace of the holiday season, or we can gracefully anticipate the coming of Christ. We can choose how we use the gift of time God gives us to prepare.
Anne Burruss, Research and Program Associate for the Lilly Impact Study at VTS