What Are We Waiting For?

It snowed once on Christmas Day — in 1986. Of course, I lived in Florida, which made it far more interesting. It was by no means a “white Christmas,” merely a flake here and there. But I bundled up like an Eskimo and went outside and danced about between the pool and the palm tree, catching real snowflakes in my mouth. Strangely, it had no effect on my perception of Christmas. The holiday still happened, was delightful and magical as it is for any average kid. Weather didn’t steal or bring Christmas any more than the Grinch could.

So what are we waiting for? We call this time Advent, which means “a coming into place, view, or being; arrival.” It would seem that, though the church uses the term for preparation and waiting and hoping for the celebration of Jesus coming into the world, it’s kind of about something else. All across town, preparations have been made, the stage has been set. In homes, neighborhoods, and department stores, special decorations for celebration have been painstakingly (or expensively, or both) made and placed. All this work in preparation to wait and hope for the coming of . . . Santa?

Just a reminder to all of us, who identify ourselves and our existence by Jesus Christ being alive and well (you know, “Christians”), that the greatest gift that is often referred to could not be captured by a gift card or a clever neck tie. He gave himself. So by all means, celebrate! After all, I really needed those socks. And that bag of fancy coffee beans was timelier than you know, as well as the gift card to a grocery store; work is scarce in the winter. But please remember to give yourself, and receive others. That is how we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. I can’t tell you (in one blog) what that looks like, but I have a hunch that in the midst of a crazy family get-together, or being approached by a stranger downtown, you’ll know.

Merry Christmas! Glory to God, and peace to each other. May celebration of our Lord be unhindered by the weather, what is hidden in stockings, or what’s not under the tree, and may His favor rest on you. My offer still stands to let you know of opportunities to serve this Christmas.

Talk to me.

Ethan Norman
Artistic Associate, The WordPlayers