by Cheri Cowell @CheriCowell
Part of the definition of the word advent is “expecting.”
As that word rolled around in my head this season, I thought of the anticipation and wonder Mary and Joseph must have felt as they waited for the Christ Child’s arrival. Probably as expectant parents do in the here and now: a mix of joy, hope, and even fear occupying their heads for nine months.
There were others that were expecting at that time. Everyone in Israel was anticipating the arrival of a Savior. Some were looking for the signs in the sky as the Magi were, some were rearranging their lives like Zechariah and Elizabeth, and some were living their lives of humility and love like Mary and Joseph. All with expectant hearts.
How did they know He was coming? The prophet Isaiah had written the following words over 700 years before the birth of the Messiah:
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever…” Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV
They had been waiting for the Messiah for hundreds of years when He finally came that first Christmas. God chose human beings to bring Him into the world.
God has chosen us to carry the Christ child to the rest of the world. “Wait,” I say, “I am not a worthy vessel.”
And God answers back, “Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God…For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:30 NKJV). Not because we are worthy, but because He is.
May the atmosphere in our lives and the attitudes we carry in our hearts be made worthy of that most precious of gifts during this Advent season.
…The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV).