Advent is meant to be a time of waiting, anticipation and hope, but it is also a time of contemplation, preparation and awakening to wonder. By Justin and Courtney Rose

In the Christian Church, we celebrate the new liturgical calendar year with the beginning of Advent. Advent is meant to be a time of waiting, anticipation and hope, but it is also a time of contemplation, preparation and awakening to wonder. The world around us ramps up in productivity and interaction, while the Church calls us to graciously pull back and wait. The beautiful mystery of the incarnation of the Word of God is immense, deep and marvelous. 

Mary, the Mother of God, is a great example of someone who wondered and pondered. In Luke 1:26-29, there is the story of the angel Gabriel coming to Mary and informing her that she would give birth to the Son of God. The text tells us that she “wondered” what type of greeting this could be from the angel (Luke 1:29, NIV).

The story continues in Luke 2:8-20. After Jesus is born and He’s lying in a manger, the shepherds come to visit after the announcement from the angels. Once they’d seen the baby, they spread the news about what the angels said. Mary then “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19, NIV). 

Later in the infancy narratives (Luke 2:25-35) when Jesus is presented in the temple for His circumcision, an old man named Simeon takes Jesus in his arms and prophesies over Jesus that He will be the salvation of the world. At these words, Mary “marveled” (Luke 2:33, NIV). 

When Jesus is an older child, His parents accidently leave Him behind in Jerusalem after a festival (Luke 2:41-52). Three days later, they find Him in the Temple listening and asking questions of the teachers. When Mary and Joseph question Jesus about this, He responds, “Didn’t you know that I would be in my Father’s house?” And Mary “treasured” all these things in her heart (Luke 2:51, NIV).

We live in a time of great busyness. There is always something to snatch our attention, interest and energy. That’s why it’s particularly important that we create time in our days and year to slow down, think, ponder, marvel, wonder and rest. I’m sure that Mary was also a busy person. She gave birth in extraordinary circumstances, she had a newborn to take care of, she fled Israel to Egypt to protect her baby and she was a poor wife of a carpenter. Mary had a lot on her plate and a lot to fill her mind, yet she still created space for wonder and to marvel.  

The reality of God coming into the world to become a human is one of the greatest truths in the universe and it requires our attention and focus. We must let these stories, these truths and these wonders consume us. This Advent, instead of succumbing to busyness, spend some time pondering, treasuring and marveling at the wonder of Christ’s incarnation. 

  • December 1:  Matthew 1:1-17
  • December 2:  Matthew 1:18-25
  • December 3:  Matthew 2:1-12
  • December 4:  Matthew 2:13-18
  • December 5:  Matthew 2:19-23
  • December 6:  John 1:1-18
  • December 7:  Luke 1:5-25
  • December 8:  Luke 1:26-38
  • December 9:  Luke 1:39-45
  • December 10:  Luke 1:46-56
  • December 11:  Luke 1:57-66
  • December 12:  Luke 1:67-80
  • December 13:  Luke 2:1-7
  • December 14:  Luke 2:8-20
  • December 15:  Luke 2:22-24
  • December 16:  Luke 2:25-35
  • December 17:  Luke 2:36-38
  • December 18:  Isaiah 11:1-9
  • December 19:  Jeremiah 23:1-8
  • December 20:  2 Samuel 7:12-16
  • December 21:  Micah 5:1-6
  • December 22:  Isaiah 7:13-17
  • December 23:  Psalm 72:8-11
  • December 24:  Jeremiah 31:15
  • December 25:  Hosea 11:1
  • December 26:  Isaiah 9:6-7
  • December 27:  Galatians 4:4-7
  • December 28:  Genesis 3:14-15
  • December 29:  Genesis 12:1-3
  • December 30:  Hebrews 2:5-18
  • December 31:  Philippians 2:5-11

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