Advent · Daily · Lessons · Preparation

lessons… from advent… part 1…

So… we’re done with Advent… but are we…?!
The biggest lesson I learned from Advent this year…?

Advent is a state of heart…

From the practice of daily communion…
and songs from Behold the Lamb of God
I now see advent as… everyday…

I’ll try to share with you here…
the source of insight…
(most likely in two parts…)

It began with a song…
re-listening… on a walk…
A Labor of Love

It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyway that night
On the streets of David’s town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
Little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
And no mother’s hand to hold

— Andrew Peterson, Behold the Lamb of God
Listening… I realized no one was prepared…
for the very first Christmas…
Only four knew for sure He was coming…
but even His parents… Mary… Joseph…
were unprepared for His arrival…

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that all the world should be registered. This was the first
registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
And all went to be registered, each to his own town.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town
of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is
called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and
lineage of David, to be registered with Mary,
his betrothed, who was with child. And while they
were there, the time came for her to give birth.
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped
him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger,
because there was no place for them in the inn.
Luke 2:1-7 ESV
There were no wreaths on doors…
no wrapping of gifts to celebrate…
no carolers in the streets…
no special services… to prepare hearts for His birth…
The first Christmas was an ordinary day…
people going about their daily lives…
in the life of the Roman Empire…
The irony of Advent… waiting… preparing for Jesus’s birth…
is that it’s already done…
we see it from the rearview mirror…
It’s easy to prepare when you know the date…
But Jesus… His first coming… came quietly…
Those who were prepared to see Him…
were those who… in their everyday way…
positioned themselves before God…
humbly… daily…
Practicing daily prayers…
practicing weekly Sabbath…
practicing righteousness with neighbors and strangers alike…
despite His four hundred years of silence…
To prepare for Christmas…
to practice Advent just the four Sundays before…
is no preparation at all…
It’s done…
it’s past…
it’s not what we’re waiting for…

I’m not saying don’t celebrate…
I’m saying… it might need to look different…
more like the daily… than just a season…
more of a living in… what’s already come…
than a re-enacting of… what’s already done…

Lesson one…
Only practicing Advent at Christmas…
is no practice… at… all…
Advent is a daily labor of love…

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