I love the days leading up to Christmas. Visiting family, enjoying great food, and seeing the anticipation for Christmas grow in my grandchildren are a few of my favorite things about this time of year. However, what I enjoy most is the celebration centered around Christ’s birth – starting with the Advent season.
Traditionally celebrated during the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day, Advent is a beautiful reminder of the journey to the manger. It prepares the hearts of believers for the arrival of our Savior.
Think about Joseph and Mary in the moments after their son’s birth. They held their baby and knew they were looking at God. Imagine how they must have felt! The event of Christ’s birth was history-making, but often we are too quick to pause there and not consider what happened next.
Mary and Joseph had the honor and responsibility of caring for Jesus, not just as a newborn, but for years to come. He was theirs to nurture and guide in every season, whether they were safe in a stable or running for their lives from a king. The image of Mary and Joseph physically carrying baby Jesus into their next season both warms my heart and convicts it.
It can be easy to follow Advent for a few weeks, celebrate the birth of Jesus, and then tuck the story away. However, we need to be intentional about carrying Christ into the next season of our lives as well.
That’s the power of Advent. Hope is born at Christmas, but the hope that is only found in Jesus is what sustains us all year. Even if you missed the majority of the celebration of Advent this year, you don’t need to miss out on the power of Advent for the rest of your life.
As you consider your next season, think about this: Christmas and Jesus’ birth not only point us to Easter, but to the in-between – to seasons of new beginnings, of growing pains, of refinement. These are the seasons in which we need Jesus and His everlasting hope the most.
As Christmas comes to an end and 2022 approaches, I encourage you to include Jesus in every season. Build your goals for the next season on the power that Jesus brings – a power that doesn’t begin or end at His birth but continues through every part of our lives.