It is early. Was very hard to get out of bed this morning. My wonderful husband encouraged me to get up. I fought it, but here I am. And as I sit here this morning, there is quiet. The Christmas Tree is lit. My coffee is hot. How did we get here already? Where has this year gone?
Today is the first day of Advent. The word ADVENT comes from the Latin Adventus, meaning “the approach” or “the arrival”. The verb is advenio: “I arrive. I come. I am coming.” I can’t help but think about that as I sit here. Seriously, it is Christmas Time. The most wonderful time of the year, right?! Yes. It is! And this morning I am reminded of why.
It may be the end of 2013, but here, right here, is where it begins. Here is where He comes. Jesus. Prince of Peace. Emmanuel. How do I prepare for His arrival? What will the next 24 days hold for me? Will I take the time to be still or will the hustle and bustle overtake me? Here is where I sit. I pray. I prepare my heart to stay focused. I commit. I listen. I allow myself to be filled with the Spirit, to be filled with wonder and awe, thanksgiving and praise. He is here and He is coming again. Let’s not miss it. Let’s not get to 2014 and ask,”Where did December go?”
Let’s find that quiet place as often as we can. Light a candle, turn on the Christmas Tree in the dark, sit with steaming coffee or tea or cocoa, and let us enter the Story. Today, let’s start at the very beginning…
“God wrote, “I love you” – He wrote it in the sky, and on the earth, and under the sea. He wrote his message everywhere! Because God created everything in his world to reflect him like a mirror – to show us what he is like, to help us know him, to make our hearts sing. The way a kitten chases her tail. The way red poppies grow wild. The way a dolphin swims. And God put it into words, too, and wrote it in a book called “the Bible.”
Now some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.
Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.
No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne – everything – to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life! You see, the best thing about this Story is – it’s true. There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle – the piece that makes all other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
And this is no ordinary baby. This is the Child upon whom everything would depend. This is the Child who would one day – but wait. Our Story starts where all good stories start. Right at the very beginning…”
– Taken from The Jesus Storybook Bible introduction; The Story and The Song