Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent part 1-joy

I can’t believe the Christmas season is already here! I can remember as a child the excitement this time of year brings. I would count down the days until Christmas morning. Indeed, it is the one morning where children have no trouble waking up early. To the dismay of parents, kids get up at 5:00am and wake up their parents to tell them Santa has come. They go rushing into the living room and start picking up packages, shaking them, sniffing them…trying to get a picture of what each box contains. Finally, they tear into the gifts with great joy.

I imagine this is what the shepherds looked like on the first Christmas. I can see them around their fire on that hillside after another normal night guarding their flocks. All of a sudden heaven opens up and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounds them. Angels appear to them and say, “Don’t be afraid, for we bring you good news of great joy for everyone. The Savior, yes the Messiah has come.” They begin singing: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.” Then the angels declare that if they run quickly to the city, they will see a child who will change everything. They will experience personally the greatest event of all time. The angels then disappear, as quickly as they came.

The shepherds look at each other stunned for a second, but then take off to Bethlehem to see this Savior. I think they ran with the same excitement that kids run on Christmas morning. There was excitement and joy with every step. This is the reaction of everyone who receives the advent of Christ. Mary, Simeon, Elizabeth, the Wise Men, and the Shepherds all respond to the advent of Christ with joyful worship and praise of God. Likewise this season should fill us with joy as we remember the coming of Christ and anticipate his second coming.