December 4, 2018

Advent 2018

"The Sears Wish Book"


 Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father who created all the lights in the heavens.  (James 1:17a CEV)


When visiting the mall and other stores around town, it often seems like Christmas decorations and gift ideas show up earlier and earlier every year.  But as a child, even though shops may not have displayed their holiday items as soon as they do today, there was an important piece of mail that arrived to signal Christmas was on its way.  Towards the end of each summer I checked the mailbox every day, eagerly awaiting the Sears Wish Book.

The Sears Wish Book could not have had a more perfect name.  It had something for everyone--toys, clothes, musical instruments, electronics, the list goes on and on.  Days were spent scouring through the pages to create the perfect list for Santa.  It was so much fun daydreaming about playing with the games shown in the catalog and wondering about which items would be under the tree on Christmas morning.  But, by the time Christmas actually arrived, I was so excited about unwrapping gifts and seeing family members who I only got to visit once or twice a year, that I could hardly remember the list I had created.  The joy of Christmas day was even better than the anticipation leading up to it.

When Mary and Joseph made their journey from Galilee to Bethlehem, I expect they had several discussions about their son whom they were anxiously awaiting to be born.  Like all parents, they probably had many hopes and dreams for their son.  Throughout Jesus' time on earth, I'm sure Mary saw that his life had a greater purpose than even she could have imagined.

During Advent we take time to celebrate the birth of Jesus while also looking ahead to the promise of the second coming of Christ.   We can reflect and be thankful for all that he has already provided.  And we don't even need a Wish Book to imagine all the possibilities of what Christ has in store for our future.

-- Heather Valentine


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