The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:6-9 NRSV
This is one of my favorite verses during this time of the year. Advent –the coming of Christ. But why couldn’t it say an old man would lead them? Well, for one thing he probably was unable to walk with all those animals around him. I have a hard-enough time with children running all around me. Good call God!
It is also hard not to say Christmas letter and just forget about Advent. But that would be as bad as an old man trying to lead a group of anything. Advent is very important, though it doesn’t get the respect that some of the other church calendar focuses such as Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost. Advent is a ‘preparation’, an ‘expectation,’ two things that don’t always resonate with the human character. While raising children in our home it was always a battle to wait for Christmas morning to open gifts, what with all the services a pastor’s kid must attend. It was also hard to read the Christmas story before we opened the gifts. But we did it. I have always believed it was the waiting and the giving that has made my Christmas the best.
This year, again, we find ourselves waiting to fully celebrate the birth of the Christ child with a portion of our family after Christmas, and again, I find myself excited for the wait, excited for the ones who are to come – our family.
This year let us remember that we are waiting for THE ONE who will come again, once and for all.
Merry Christmas to you all and may this New Year bring you great and wondrous blessings.
Pastor Chuck and Lin