What time is it? Time to start unwrapping!
A pondering by Holly Woodbridge
It is Advent time, the Advent Season. It is the very special time of year that sometimes gets lost in the bright lights of the Christmas season that follows. The Advent Season is all about waiting, but not like thumb twiddling waiting; it’s the kind of waiting that puts you on the edge of your seat with anticipation. We are really, slowly unwrapping one spectacular gift that overflows with other gifts during advent. To slow down in the craziness all around us, takes effort. And that is why advent is important. ADVENT is slowly UNWRAPPING the gift of CHRISTMAS and finding meaning in the truest gifts.
Some of you have probably done a good bit of your Christmas shopping. You may even have wrapped up your gifts and placed them under the tree. There is something special about a wrapped gift. The greatest gift ever given was wrapped, just not with fancy paper and a bow.
“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12, emphasis added).
There is nothing shiny about that wrapping. Our glorious God lying in a feed trough wrapped in dingy swaddling clothes. The God before whom Moses and Isaiah fell down on their faces, the God worshipped by throngs of angels is in a filthy stable. And this message from this feed trough is an invitation for anyone, everyone.
Every Christmas the first decoration that I put up is our nativity scene—a small, rustic-looking set, crude but charming, busy with sheep, shepherds, camels, wise men, and a baby in the manger. When I take time to think about this scene, I realize that it isn’t normal. As much as I like our sweet scene, God doesn’t want me to view it as pretty and quaint. What happened at the manger wasn’t designed to put me in “the holiday mood.” It was a gift that was to be unwrapped, a gift intended to shake me to the roots of my soul.
Christmas is the day we celebrate the entrance of the eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all-righteous, all-holy, and glorious God into our world and Advent is the time for us to carefully unwrap that gift.
God humbled himself in a way that a shepherd, or a child, or even I would understand. While lying in a manger, God humbled Himself before us so that we would realize that there was nothing He wouldn’t do to bring us into relationship with Him. Our glorious God, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger is waiting for you to unwrap Him this season.