Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. Of course, until 4 years ago, I associated this time of year with cold, the possibility of snow, fires roasting, hot chocolate and snowmen or Santa decorations hitting you in every storefront you entered. Now, in Congo, we find ourselves in this season of hot, the possibility of rain, fans blowing, ice cold drinks and rarely a sighting of Christmas decorations to be found.
In all honesty, I miss a bit of the Christmas atmosphere. Lights glowing outside neighbors homes, families ringing bells together to raise money for the Salvation Army and even carolers harmonizing and reminding us of the joy-filled season. It takes a bit of adjusting, but for us it has been a good thing to step back and remember what this season is all about. Remembering what God did for us through sending His Son, Jesus Christ.
We find ourselves in this time of Advent, leading up to Christmas. It’s a season of waiting and of expectation. I know the meaning of waiting. Waiting for people to arrive who said they would meet us 2 hours before. Waiting in line for a document because there is only one person who signs and verifies said documents and he happens to be out at the moment. I know the meaning of expectation. I expect my children to behave and obey (and, obviously, they fall short sometimes). I have expectations of pastors to return reports to me so I can do my job and return my reports in to the general Church. But, the season of Advent, where we wait in hopeful expectation of the beautiful gift God sent us, is something else entirely. This waiting is good and beneficial and prepares us for what’s to come. The expectation is set high and exceeds what our imaginations could even think it to be.
So, as we go about our December days in Congo, we focus our minds on what is to come; celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Yes, we decorate our house with the one box of Christmas decorations we stuffed into our crate 4 years ago. But, most importantly, we read scripture that points to the One who God sent. We spend time in prayer. We spend time talking about the birth of Christ and how this changed everything.
May we find time this season to step back and remind ourselves what this season is about. May we all find peace, love and joy through what God has done for us!