Advent is a season of expectant waiting. We prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ coming. We long for His return. Growing up, I always loved lighting the candles each week and reading verses about our Savior as we counted down the days until Christmas.
But, I’ve got to be honest—the past four years, my expectant waiting hasn’t been focused on the tiny baby who made His entrance among animals and feeding troughs in Bethlehem. Instead, my heart has longed for a baby of my own, one who would join my guy and I to make us a family of three. Every year, as Advent approached, I felt sure that we’d have our little one by Christmas. And every year, I’ve been disappointed as I realized that the holidays had passed and no baby had come.
We’d wrap up the ornaments and put away the tree, and our little home would feel rather plain again. I’d go from room to room, grabbing anything holiday related and pause, taking in the awful emptiness of our nursery. No, no baby had come again this year. We had waited all year, praying that this would be it. That this would be the “year of the baby.” And the holidays would arrive and add this sense of excitement, as though, maybe, just maybe, amidst the lights and treats and traditions, we’d receive that which we had longed for, that which we had ached to call our own.
Somehow, this passing of Christmas held a sad sense of finality as we realized that the calendar had flipped 12 more times, and there we were—still just the two of us, despite our best efforts and despite our prayers.
This year, I started the Advent season telling myself that I wasn’t going to get caught up in the last-minute panic/excitement of adding to our family before the close of 2014. And, I did okay…for a while. As the days ticked by though, I began to feel that familiar ache. This was also not the “year of the baby.” I would not be holding our precious one in my arms just yet.
As I poured out my grief to Jesus, He reminded me that while my baby has not yet come, He has. He came more than 2,000 years ago. To a tiny town where they didn’t even know what His arrival meant. That baby—God who became flesh—He came with one purpose: To redeem the lost. To pay the price for our sins so we could know what it is to have life abundantly in Him—both now and forevermore. This, this is Christ the King.
His gentle reminder pierced my grieving heart. Here I was, fixated on what had not come, on what I felt I was somehow owed—all the while ignoring the miracle of the God of universe humbling Himself to enter this world as tiny baby—for you, and for me.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The babe, the son of Mary.