Our Advent Scripture passage is Mark 1:1-3.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Look, I am sending My messenger ahead of You,
who will prepare Your way.
A voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
Prepare the way for the Lord;
make His paths straight!
Today felt a bit like Christmas Eve. Our family activity took a bit of preparation, so I spent time creating and wrapping and looking forward to the kid’s reactions.
It all started with wrapping cereal boxes with felt and securing the edges with hot glue. By the end, customizable Christmas trees emerged.
As an added touch, I wrapped up the gifts and placed them under the tree.
When Lauren woke up from her nap, she didn’t even realize the gifts were there. It was about half an hour after Jackson arrived home from school when I heard him shout, “What!?! Mom, there’s presents!!”
Later in the evening after dinner, we gathered together to read our Advent verses. Jackson worked to move along the conversation, because his attention was under the tree.
The kids loved their felt board Christmas trees! I lost count of how many different Christmas trees they each created.
Anticipation is key to gift giving. That’s why as kids we couldn’t sleep Christmas Eve. We knew when we woke up there would be presents under the tree. I can’t tell you how many times Jackson walked slowly past the presents this afternoon and would “subtly” mention them in an attempt to change my mind about when he could open his. Anticipation often makes the arrival that much more sweet.
Maybe that’s why God sent John ahead of His Son to prepare the way. He again drew hearts to God, helping people to look forward to the Messiah with renewed passion. The Kingdom of Heaven is near, John proclaimed. He created a longing for those suffering from injustice and unending, man-made religious rules that God Himself would soon arrive to bring freedom. The One foretold would soon be.
How can you help create anticipation in your home for Jesus’ arrival this Christmas?