“Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. 8 Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. 9 Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God. 10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her. 11 For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance.”
Advent provides us with a time to prepare and pray for birth of Christ but it will always bring to mind several sensory images including advent wreaths, calendars of verses, candles, the soft glow of incandescent bulbs, joyful voices singing carols, and children in white robes shaking their tinsel halos. It is a time of contrast-, anticipation of joy and a search for hope amidst stress, fatigue, and darkness. I struggle to find the time and energy to prepare and pray during Advent – there’s just so much to do. The preparations are already in motion, decorations unpacked, wish lists begun, meals planned and songs rehearsed. But am I really ready?
God says that it’s time to prepare – that this baby, our hope and salvation – is coming! But what am I doing to prepare? How can I share hope amidst the darkness and the promise of a new life, a new kingdom, reflected in a baby’s birth? Start by celebrating the lights of Advent by providing a light of your own – a smile, light a candle, a song, a dance, and be the joy in a world in need of our Savior. Sit in peaceful contemplation and think about how God’s light shines through you. Sing a song, paint a picture, reach out and share the hope that is Jesus. Be a light this advent season because as today’s passage reminds us – this baby is coming! and when He arrives, the joy will begin.