By Michelle Ofori-Ansah
My two little boys, Boaz and Jakin, have been excited about Christmas since roughly the minute Boaz’ last birthday presents were opened in October. Jakin has been saying, “It’s Christmas Mommy and Daddy!” at random times, and we think it’s his way of indicating that something needs to be celebrated. Now, I recognize that my sons are really just looking forward to the next time they get to open presents . . . but I have decided that this year I want to take advantage of their anticipation. This year, I want to get an Advent calendar.
I don’t remember my family ever having an Advent calendar. Obviously, even if we did, it didn’t make much of an impression on me. Now, I love Christmas — Christmas carols, Christmas movies, Christmas food, the Christmas story, Christmas Eve service (and/or Christmas Day service) — I love them all. But for this Christmas, I want to focus on preparation — my personal and my family’s heart-readiness for this season.
That’s where the Advent calendar comes in. An Advent calendar is a way of celebrating Christmas, the birth of Jesus, for more than just the 25th of December. It was originally created to give Christians a chance to prepare their hearts for this important season. It has been adopted primarily for children, both to harness their excitement about Christmas and to help them understand the real meaning behind the holiday. But its primary purpose remains to help with preparing for celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Let me ask you. Are you prepared for Jesus’ birth? His birth literally split time . . . all our dates are referenced by this pivotal moment . . . before and after His birth. The most important question in the world is, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). As my sons start to understand Christmas and all the fun it represents (Presents! Lights! Vacation!), I want them to understand the real meaning behind it. It seems simple to add an Advent calendar to our lives, but I am excited about exploring the birth of Jesus in a deeper and more meaningful way.
When Jesus came to Earth as a baby, He gave up His divinity, His power and His status to become part of a hated and despised race. Philippians 2:7 describes this very well. “Rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” I want to understand this in a deeper and more tangible way, and I want my sons to start to grasp the miracle represented by a song like Away in a Manger. So, we will be using an Advent calendar this year. But more than just enjoying the chocolate, scriptures and fun pictures in our calendar, we will be preparing our hearts for Christmas. So, are you prepared for Christmas?Like what you've read? Receive free email updates from The Voice Online: Subscribe