December 5, 2018

Advent 2018

"The Gift of a Child"


When asked to write an Advent devotional I am always excited to see what the theme will be for that year.  Some years writing can be enjoyable, some years it can be challenging.  This year's theme was both enjoyable and challenging.  Immediately, I knew what has been my most glorious expectation.

My most glorious expectation was the adoption of Caroline.  After a three and a half year wait, we were blessed with a call to come and meet our baby.  Imagine Mary's surprise when she received a visit from an angel of God that she was going to have a baby!  The angel's message was, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus" (Luke1:30-31).

Our baby was a perfect three-week old.  She had a head full of beautiful dark hair, big round eyes, and a sweet bow-shaped mouth.  After a short visit with the social worker, who shared current information on Caroline, we were ready to take our baby home.  We were now a family of three.

On the way home Caroline fell asleep.  In the quiet of the car, Reed and I were caught up in our new emotions.  My first thought for Caroline was that she would grow to be a healthy and happy child.  For the first time I could suddenly understand the thoughts and feelings of a new mother for her baby.  I am sure all mothers have glorious expectations for their children.  Some of Mary's expectations for her child must have been wishes that we could never imagine because Mary's child would become the world's glorious expectation.

Advent is a time of prayer, quiet reflection on the birth of Christ, and contemplation about what this birth meant to the world.  Our church decorates with greenery and berries, with candle light and Chrismon trees.  Our music is reflective and our scripture is a foretelling of Christ's birth.  Our glorious expectation is met on Christmas Eve when the birth of Christ is jubilantly announced.

This year's Advent theme for our church can be an opportunity to reflect on past glorious expectations and anticipate those in our future.

-- Barbara Creaser


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