I used to begin waiting for Christmas in October. I’d make paper chains counting down the days until Advent began. My mom would buy a chocolate Advent calendar, and my siblings and I would wait anxiously for our day to eat the chocolate. It was my first experience with waiting.
These days, my waits seem to be a little heavier. It can feel like I’m always in some stage of waiting: waiting for the new Downton Abbey season, for the career break, for the new wardrobe, for community, for life. And while I continue to wait for the chocolates on my advent calendar, I think I’m also waiting for Christmas to be something else.
This earth has seen another year. It has rejoiced in the ways it has become more wonderful and has sighed deeply in the ways it has fallen apart. All of us have made one more trip around the sun- we have traveled many miles- and yet we’re still waiting. The advent leading up to Christmas is like a held breath, heavy with anticipation. We are sniffing the air, waiting, in our Christmas lights and our celebration cookies, for a glimmer of hope.
For thousands of years, the Israelites waited for a Savior, for a reconciler, for a deep assurance of their Maker’s love. Today, we rejoice at the coming of this Savior while we also wait for him to return, to make our broken lives new, and to take us home.
This Christmas, I wanted a tangible reminder of this waiting, of this hope, of this in-between that I find myself in. I wanted my to wait on my advent calendar for more than chocolates (not that there is anything wrong with chocolate!). I want to wait as the Israelites waited, and as I wait now for complete renewal. I wanted a reminder of the great hope I have in my waiting this Christmas- the hope that you and I are children loved from the deep.
This Advent Calendar was so easy to make, and it was incredible to find so many verses in the Bible that are full of God’s love and promises. I spent a dangerous two hours in Michael’s and Joann’s picking out scrapbook paper and fabric to cover four bulletin boards. I made 25 tags, for each day of December, and put on each one a verse that is full of hope in the wait:
The trails we’re walking, whether laden with joy or swimming in sorrow, are so much more than what they seem. May this time of waiting be filled hope for each of us this season!