Traditionally, today, 1st December, is the day we open the first door on the Advent Calendar. What is behind the first door? These days it is probably a chocolate, which is OK. Chocolate is good. But it's not the whole story. In fact, it's not the story at all.
The story of Advent is about waiting, looking forward, expecting, hoping.
- Waiting for God to come into our lives
- Looking forward to seeing things put right
- Expecting something wonderful
- Hoping for something good
Christmas is a celebration of all the above. It all happened when Jesus came.
He came that first time as a tiny baby, of course, but he still comes to those who wait and hope. He comes as a friend and he comes as someone who understands.
In the Old Testament, Isaiah says:
A shoot will sprout from the stump of JesseThe picture is of a vine in a vineyard. It has been pruned hard but when the time is right - in the spring or after the first rains - it will start to grow again and, in time, it will bear fruit and, in time, those grapes will yield juice and wine.
and, from that rootstock, a branch will grow and bear fruit.
The "stump of Jesse" is Jesus.
Jesus says: I am the vine. You are the branches
That is worth waiting for and we can experience it, every day, in our own lives