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Advent: Celebration

What does it mean to celebrate the arrival of the Christ?

Our culture has decided that the Christmas celebration includes lavish gifts, choral productions, and lots of baked goods. We toast and dance at wedding parties. Athletic celebrants dump water on coaches, tear down goal posts, scream and shout. At graduations, we toss our hats in the air.

I like these images. 

Some of my favorite life memories involve arm waving and some form of the phrase “whooo hoooo.”  But as I reflect on celebration this Christmas season, none of these expressions resonate with my heart about the arrival of the Christ child.

Instead, I am reminded of quieter moments after all our wedding guests had departed and Billy and I drove away sharing our amazement that we were married and grateful to begin this journey together. More recently, my daughter’s 1st birthday party was a joyous celebration, but I found myself cuddling her in stolen minutes, whispering my love and delight. There’s something beautiful about celebrating the relationships within the events.

Intimacy…thanksgiving…delight.   

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in a manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherd returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (Luke 2:16-20)

There’s a lot of celebration in these verses. I imagine there is a lot of hugs, arm waving, singing, and the like.  But then there’s this one, quiet verse. Mary is gathering everything and keeping it in her heart. 

This final week of Advent and last week before Christmas, I wish you baked goods and dancing and whooping and hollering.  But I also wish you intimate moments with Christ, whispering all your gratefulness and heartfelt affection.  May we celebrate the beauty of our relationship with Christ and we reflect on the arrival of a newborn baby.  

How do you celebrate the arrival of Christ? 

All of this year's Advent series:
Week 1: Expectation
Week 2: Patience
Week 3: Contentment
Week 4: Celebration

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