The story of advent, for me, is one of faith. Faith that that night would come. Faith that a Son would be born. Faith that the star would lead to something . Faith that no matter what you've gone through or your current situation, it's all about making it to tonight.
I didn't grow up with advent in our home, so the lighting of candles and this period of immersive anticipation was a little lost on me. The only thing we anticipated was going to bed or wrapping those few straggling presents. We watched the movies and we sang the carols, but reflecting on the coming of the King wasn't present.
And that worked for a while. It's easy to get lost in the ways of the world, focusing on the busy-ness and the obligations. It's easy to lose yourself in the spirit of Christmas without ever touching the Spirit.
This year was different. This year was a chorus of voices, perspectives on the season that I had never understood before- studying and exploring scriptures I had never bothered to understand past face value. This is advent. The building of this foundation, this filter to which we can look through and see the true story.
That Mary didn't just bear the Son of God, people must have thought she was nuts. Her excuse was communication with angels? Or Joseph who must have struggled with a few doubts on his cross-country road trip with a very pregnant young wife.
But it's the wise men who mean the most to me. To me, they walked the ultimate walk of faith. They weren't Christians or Jews to believe in a Savior, but their faith brought them the Son of God tucked into a feeding trough in the most humble of beginnings.
That's Christmas. No matter your background or your beliefs, what you've endured or overcome or are still struggling with, it's the belief that your journey has an end worth traveling to get to.
Tonight as I'm struggling to find a talent for the family Christmas Eve Talent Show, or grabbing a few more stocking stuffers, I'll remember that my journey doesn't end here.