I started a new book this week. It's a devotional for Advent written by Walter Wangerin Jr. (Who I think is an amazing author!). The book is called "Preparing for Jesus." Interestingly enough, I end up reading this particular book every year during Advent, it's just that good. And every year it speaks to me in different ways. This year I was struck by the introduction itself. Wangerin reminds us that this season of Advent and Christmas is really just the beginning. This is a journey that carries us through many many months. Wangerin breaks this journey into 5 Acts: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and Easter (through Pentecost).
He explains, " For the church past has bequeathed to the church present a grand theatric - a drama, as it were - which takes six months to enact, December into May. There is no audience. All are actors. And this play, rather than representing something different from itself, actually contains and communicates the truth, for its protagonist is the Lord Jesus, and the Lord is always present in his Word - and the Lord is truth."
So the journey begins once again as we wait and prepare with anticipation the celebration of the birth of Jesus, but the journey does not end there. We watch, observe, experience who this Jesus is though his teachings, miracles and relationships. We walk with him and experience his struggle, his betrayal and the magnificent triumph over death and evil. "And with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost comes down as well a responsibility upon the whole Church: to continue the work of Jesus upon the earth. Therefore, the following six month (June - November) pay attention to what we, the followers of Jesus, must be, and what we must do , and how our lives must develop even through death to life again."
I pray that as I return to this journey during this season of my life, that I will remember, be renewed and be challenged in my faith. I enter this journey through Advent to Christmas with excitement and anticipation, not just to celebrate the birth of our Savior, but to listen and discover all that the Lord wants to teach me in the coming year. Come, Lord Jesus. Teach me, challenge me, renew me and remind me. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.