Countdown to Christmas
When my children were younger and lived at home I would create an advent calendar so we as a family could visually see the days diminish before celebrating Christ’s birthday. The anticipation and excitement was so intense. The advent season was a daily reminder of God’s love for us. There were Bible verses, stories, planned quality family time, activities to help spread God’s love to the world around us, and occasionally a small gift to remind our children they were loved. Each and every morning the children were excited and looked forward to opening that day’s message. To this day they will mention stories of the advent season. Because parents always try to be fair there was a rotation where each of our children had turns to open a message and read it to the family (they never forgot whose turn it was to open the message.) At times my littlest one would open the message and just give it to one of her brothers to read. Whoever was holding the message had everyone’s undivided attention.
Everyone was excited for the day’s message. It was a message that rang in our hearts all day. Sometimes a week later our family was still talking about a specific message that seemed to tug on our heart. The advent calendar had several different forms through the years. I originally started out with a homemade calendar made with construction papers and a razor blade, then we moved to a banner with pockets, then to a beautiful city scene where the doors and windows of churches and houses opened to put the message inside. Even though the visual may have changed the messages served the same purpose and I as a parent I always had a master calendar. The master calendar was important so I would know what to expect each day and would not be taken off guard in case my husband or I had to hide a little gift where the message might indicate.
I have always told my children there are no surprises with God. He has our master calendar and knows exactly what to expect each and every day; He saw this day too. Wouldn’t He love if we each eagerly and with pure excitement looked forward to opening His message each day as a reminder of His love? Although advent is a short season and it helps us prepare for the celebration of the arrival of Christ as a baby, we must be reminded that He will arrive again soon. Daily we must continue to prepare our minds for His second coming. We can meet with our brothers and sisters and help them understand the messages too. The method of your own preparation may change and my method may be different than yours but that is okay. Allow Christ to wrap His love around you and even sprinkle reminders throughout your day of His love. Each day you may even begin to notice more and more reminders of Christ’s love for you. Every morning prepare and become ready because in the book of Revelation Jesus states, “Yes, I am coming soon.” (Rev 22:20)
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:13 NIV