A little bit of the “magic” of Christmas. By magic, I mean way beyond what we think or dream.
A while back, I mentioned the heritage of birthday cakes (look at the entry on my birthday 5.15). And in that writing, I thanked the Germans for their contribution to birthday cake traditions. I enjoyed my Sprinkles cupcake. I miss those, but Evergreen does have the young Elder daughter and her culinary skills that surpass Sprinkles.
As we enter the Christmas season, I remember the joy of advent calendars that have the little doors for each of the 24 days building up to Christmas Day. Behind each door would be a small chocolate or treat. This adaption for the advent countdown is due to Gerhard Lang, a Swabian German (I had to look that word up … so I will let you do that if you desire to know). In 1908, he created the first one with 24 pictures. Thank the Lord he quickly adapted to little doors with treats.
Back then, with most people unable to read, calendars rare, and kids not really knowing – or caring – what most dates were … this tradition built excitement and great expectation to kids and big kids alike.
Expectation … can you imagine what it was like for the people 2000 years ago. Silence from the Lord (specifically the 400 years from close of the Hebrew Scriptures), longing for a deliverer, the Messiah, the anointed One to rescue and lead the people … a Word, a prophet, anything from on high. Their Hope was real, tangible … but it was fulfilled in a way they didn’t expect. Not in grandeur or in royal mansions. But in humility and simplicity of a manger in near solitude and lowliness.
Now, I could go on and on (I am a preacher after all, and we do ramble at times) … but let me start this season with two challenges drawn from today’s imagery …
One … do something this season to build your expectation and aura of Hope. Read scripture daily to build up to the 25th, have a prayer plan every day to focus on the glory of Christ and the splendor of His first advent, sing a carol or Christmas song every day, call or message a family member every day and wish them a blessing from the Lord … anything. Even buy a calendar with 24 little Dove Chocolates.
Second … prepare your heart to being open to God fulfilling your expectation, but maybe (or probably) not in the way you are thinking. When we release our desires to His, we often realize He has been blessing all along. Let Christmas remind you His ways are greater, more amazing, and way beyond what we could ever imagine.
And that is part of what I say is the “magic” of the season.
Let the countdown begin