“The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned….
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
As December approaches, so does the dark, damp, cold of winter. The trees become bare, the sky grows grey, and the harsh bite of the cold drives us to hide in our homes.
We find ourselves worn down, reflecting on the year behind us wondering how we let it pass us so quickly.
Regrets over things that should or should not have been dominate our thoughts. In a vain attempt to redeem the last four weeks of the year, we hurry and strive and overload our to-dos until we claim defeat and declare we just can’t wait for the month to be over. Yet January looms over us like a taunting bully that we can’t escape. We shamefully prepare to begin the rat race all over again by penning our resolutions with determination to make the next year count.
How does a season that is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year make us feel more like a dry stump than a flourishing evergreen?
But what if it was possible for December to be different this year?
What if instead of striving to attain the perfect Christmas for ourselves and our loved ones, we looked forward to unwrapping the greatest gift of all?
Christmas is about the Light of the World breaking into our darkness. It is the greatest love story of the world; for in it we see Love itself personified in the form of a helpless babe.
A Christmas gift just for us.
But it is possible for us to miss it.
“To brush past it, to rush through it, to not see how it comes for you up over the edges of everything, quiet and unassuming and miraculous-how every page of the Word has been writing it, reaching for you, coming for you. And you could wake up on Christmas only to grasp that you never took the whole of the Gift, the wide expanse of grace.” Ann Voskamp – The Greatest Gift
If we are to truly experience the greatest Gift this Christmas, we must pause, be still, and wait with anticipation the coming of our blessed Savior. To hurry through would leave our hearts unprepared for His coming. We would reach the manger with veiled eyes and hearts, void of wonder and light.
Advent, from the Latin word meaning coming, is a season of waiting.
A whole season, dedicated just to waiting….
It is not in our nature to wait. We want to skip through the bitter toil, the darkness, and the cold, and get straight to the cheer of Christmas morning.
But I love how our God knew that we needed a special season of the year, a season of darkness, a season of waiting, to reveal the beauty of His light, lest we take it for granted.
For it is in the waiting that we are sanctified. It is the passing through darkness, that makes the light of Christmas all the more wondrous.
And it is in the anticipation of His coming that we learn what it means to truly experience Hope, Joy Love and Peace.
That is why it is with great excitement that I invite you this Advent season to join me as I work through unwrapping “The Greatest Gift” with Ann Voskamp!
Here are the details on how you can be involved!
First off, you will need the book so you can follow along! If you don’t have it already, just click the link below where you can purchase it in paperback or kindle format!
If you order a paperback version today you should have enough time for it to arrive before December 1st, however even if it comes late you can still follow along here with us!
Every Monday, beginning December 1st we will meet here to discuss the daily readings and light a candle together for the week.
We will ask questions and reflect on how Christ is changing our hearts this Christmas season.
I will also have a link up for other bloggers who are writing about the coming of Jesus through Advent! This will provide another fantastic way for you to enrich your season with a Christ centered focus.
Throughout the week, I will be posting daily updates on my Facebook page that will include thoughts and Scriptures based off of the daily readings. I will also provide information on other resources such as songs, books and other ideas that will help to prepare your heart for the coming King.
Please like my page here so you can follow along and interact with others who are choosing to unwrap the greatest Gift this Christmas!
Finally, I am hosting my first ever giveaway! All subscribers to my blog will be entered in a drawing to receive a beautiful Advent Calendar from Dayspring!
Simply enter your email below for a chance to receive this meaningful addition to your Advent celebration! The winner of the contest will be announced the evening of November 30th!
By subscribing, you will also receive the book club updates delivered directly to your email box and other posts that will help to inspire passionate love for our extraordinary God!
This December could be the year that Christmas turns upside down for you. Will you dare to be intentional, to slow down and receive the Gift He has awaiting you?
For it is the only Gift worth waiting for.
“I don’t want a Christmas you can buy. I don’t want a Christmas you can make. What I want is a Christmas you can hold. A Christmas that holds me, remakes me, revives me. I want a Christmas that whispers, Jesus.” -Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift