The season of Advent is one of those times in which it is impossible to ignore the children around you. There is such a bubbling excitement, anticipation, mystery, and joy to each little boy and girl looking forward to the big day! As a “Daddio” of a 5-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl this is both a wonderful gift and an exasperating reality. The constant energy level affects their behavior in every way. Be that as it may, it is still a wonderful season and we spend a great deal of time and energy trying to create opportunities and avenues for them to express all that excitement and anticipation.
This all started on the first Sunday of December, as we began preparing our home for the worship service later that day. We always have preparations for worship in our living room and kitchen each Sunday, but the first Sunday of advent was something special. As we finished breakfast, we sat our family Advent wreath on the table and had a conversation about Advent. We read some scripture, discussed the meaning of the word Advent (a coming or arrival), and we talked about how Advent is a season when we look for the arrival of Jesus, the first one in the manger and the second one yet to come. We finished breakfast, prayed together, asked God to give us eyes to see and ears to hear of his coming, and continued with the busy Sunday preparations.
The day continued and I would run through the kitchen and notice that Kate and Jude would be standing by our back window looking out at something. At first, I wondered at what they were looking at: the construction behind our house, our family dog, or the snow. However, as the time for service moved closer and the preparations became more frantic my curiosity moved towards frustration. They just kept stopping to stand on tiptoes and stare out the window. Finally, I asked in exasperation, “Guys, what is so important and interesting that you need to keep watching out that window every 10 minutes?”
Kate turned around and with the innocence of a 4-year-old said, “Well, Daddio, we are
looking for Jesus. You said to be looking. Won’t he be coming out of the sky?” You cannot imagine the immediate humbling affect! I could not stop the great big smile that slowly spread across my face. At first, it was a smile based on an appreciation of the innocence of
childhood. But then I remembered Christ’s admonition, “Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a child, will not enter it.” (Mark 10:15) I told them to go ahead and keep looking because he is indeed coming.
Then I turned to contine my frantic preparations when Jude said, “Well do you wanna come check to see if you can see him coming yet?” What a moment! I am thankful for the ways that God uses my children. I walked over to the window and spent a few moments with my children, literally watching, checking to see if Jesus was coming yet. We light an advent candle each night at dinner, we read scripture, and we pray for Jesus to help us be ready for his second Advent, even as we prepare to celebrate the first one. Watching is a rhythm of life.
Several times over these past weeks I have caught my children at the window, I have stolen glances at them looking out the car window towards the sky, and asking, “Daddio, we still do not see him. Is he really coming?” He really is coming. He really is coming. I know that preparations are hectic. I know there is much to get done. There is so much involved in being prepared to worship, to gather, and to be reade for the big day. But maybe, just maybe, it is just as important to keep an eye on the sky.
Maybe it is just as important to stop and spend some time receiving the Kingdom of God like a child. When is the last time you walked over to your window and looked up, checking to see if you just might catch a glimpse of your Savior coming? Will you join me, my 5-year-old, and my 4-year-old in getting so caught up in the season of looking, watching, and waiting for the arrival of Jesus that you spend some time silently looking up?
One day this week I got out of bed, jumped in and out of the shower, laid out my children’s clothes, and checked the clock. I had a few moments to spare as the sun rose over Mt. Vitosha behind my house. In spite of myself, I snuck over to the window, pulled open the curtains, and spent a few moments looking up, checking to see if my Savior was coming. It felt childish. I have been waiting for a while now, but my children have reminded me that he really is coming, it could be any moment. What if the anticipation, the excitement, the mystery, and the joy bubbled up affectig our behavior, affectingevery one of us, making us act like little children watching for the big day?
“Be on the watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”