Growing up in my parents' home, I loved when we had guests over to visit! We got to eat in the dining room, which we only did when we had company! My sweet momma sure knows how to pamper guests. In the time before their arrival, she would iron cloth napkins, set the table and fill our house with the smells of her delicious cooking and baking. I would often run into the entryway to peak out the window to see if anyone was coming up our driveway. Soon we would enjoy a meal peppered with conversation as we spent the evening with our guests. It is among my favorite memories of my childhood. My mother's love of hosting she has passed on to me. I really enjoy having people in our home! The anticipation and preparation of their arrival still fills me with excitement!
Christmas is such a time for anticipation as well...
Webster defines advent as the arrival or coming of a notable person or event. In ancient days, the people of God lived in anticipation of the Advent of the promised Messiah. Perhaps the word lived is an understatement. They longed for His arrival. Prophets spoke of his coming for hundreds of years and God's people simply could not wait for Him to come on the scene!
In the days before Christmas, we anxiously anticipate the arrival of that all important day! We bake, shop and decorate with excitement but how often do these fun and often family-oriented tasks distract our hearts from the glory of His arrival in this world and what it means for us?
Raechel Myers writes "we are people living in between two Advents - on the 'He did' side of the first Advent of Jesus (celebrating what God has already done) and on the 'He will' side of Jesus's second coming (celebrating what He is doing and will do)."
This is not to say that we can't or shouldn't enjoy the merriment of this beautiful season. Celebration is important! However as we trim the tree and bake gingerbread men, let's savor the arrival of the one who set us free from sin's chains and promises to return for us one day. Just like waiting for special guests to arrive, let us be ever "peaking out the window" and preparing our hearts for His glorious return!