The virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, “God is with us.” — Matthew 1:23 (NRSV)
Advent is a season of beginnings and endings. For me, this truth has never been quite so present nor so poignant as it is this year. As I write this in late 2018, I am anticipating the birth of my first child. I can’t help but identify with Mary and Joseph — new parents themselves. With the birth of Jesus, they must have experienced the ending of one pace of life and the beginning of another — shaped by this tiny baby.
In the stable in Bethlehem, they must have pondered with mixed excitement and fear how their lives would change. The miracle and promise of Advent and Christmas is that the birth of the Christ child not only changed life and reality for his parents but for all the world.
As we enter the season of Advent, what changes are you anticipating? What endings and beginnings are taking shape in your life? As we bid farewell to one year and welcome in a new one, God’s promise to us through the birth of Christ is to be with us through each of our endings and beginnings. We need only to find room in the inns of our hearts for the Christ child to make his home among us once again.
“I believe with all my heart that vulnerability and authenticity are the only way to find wholeness in Jesus Christ. … I believe in the holistic, healing love and salvation in Jesus Christ, who walks with us in the valleys and brings beauty from ash heaps again and again and again. I am here to tell you that I have been on the mountaintops and in the valleys, and I have discovered that we need a reset in our souls. We need to share stories so that others will too. When we’re free to be real, that’s when the real joy comes.” Read more.