As the pace is picking up as the party season starts I find myself shutting down. In this dark time of the year I find it very easy to retreat, life flattens out and melancholy lurks around the corner.
So I find particular comfort in the art of advent - the art of anticipation.
the slow countdown of waiting
the quiet growing of expectancy
the gradual darkening of the day so dawn and dusk nearly meet
the lighting of the advent candles one by one until all are lit on Christmas day.
In our house on the first Sunday of advent Mary and Josef come down from the attic (just in case you didn't know where they normally live...) and they go on a journey around the living room until they arrive at the stables on Christmas Eve.
Mary is heavily pregnant and Josef is walking by her side. They are wading through our mess, also waiting for the One who came into the midst of our darkness and mess. And when He came, He came not as the one who has it all figured out, but as the helpless one who needed to be fed, cuddled, washed, warmed, soothed and comforted.