Sunday, December 2, 2007

Black Friday...Advent....and some hope

Today was the 1st Sunday of Advent....Advent means "the coming." This is the time on the Christian calendar when we celebrate the coming of Jesus. He is coming! He is coming! We celebrate the coming of His birth. We also celebrate the glorious return He'll make one day in the future.

Let me share something with you that one of our pastors on staff shared last week and it came up again in our sermon that is completely worth sharing in regards to Advent and HE'S COMING!

When you even say those words, "He's coming" or hear those words "He's coming,"your ears kind of perk up a little and want to know more about who's coming and when are they coming??? It peaks my interest in regards to how we, as humans, act when we hear someone is coming. It can be a good thing or a bad thing. Now, I've got a whole new visual of how I begin to visualize the coming birth of that most amazing baby boy named Jesus. Oh, what a special birth announcement in the heavenlies. The gift is coming.

Let's go back in time a week or so. Remember the infamous Black Friday?? Remember how you either were a part of it or saw the people on tv?? Remember the lines of people waiting outside Best Buy or some other store all night long in the cold waiting?? Remember the anticipation, possibly even seeing the gift just inside the door of the store??? Do you remember?? Do you remember how it looked to be close but so far away?? Remember how you felt if you were out there with them??? Were you exhausted, but would wait it out?? Were you anxious, but excited, to get the gift you wanted so badly??? We lost sleep. We woke up early. We sat outside in the cold even. For what???

The gift.

Oh, the gift. Lets think about gifts for a second. Here's a tough question. Can you remember what gifts you gave your family last year?? Can you remember what you received as a gift last year from your family??? I'll be honest....I can't remember much.

But, oh, the gift of His birth. This gift means something huge. It meant hope long ago and it still means something deep into our hearts over 2,000 years later. The gift of hope.

Gifts (not necessarily tangible gifts) are important to me at Christmas. As I get older, I think about the amazing gifts that were brought to baby Jesus when he was born. I want my gifts to others to be just as amazing. We all do. I do not want to get caught up in the crazy, frenzy world of "they don't have enough and they need one more thing." I want to give personal, meaningful, thought out gifts to those people I love. It's also getting harder each year.

Let me ask you a question regarding the season of Advent and the coming of Jesus' birth many years ago......

What if we camped out with that same excitement from Black Friday and that same kind of anticipation of getting "the deal" and we anxiously waited on the doorsteps each time the church doors were to open .......for the gift? Oh, yes.....that most perfect gift. I can see it. I want it. It's just right inside the doors. Do we get that excited over being in worship either alone or corporately?? Ouch.

"Oh Jesus, please Lord please, fill me with that excitement, joy, anxiousness, I can see it just inside the door kind of desire, for YOU. For You Jesus. I want to experience You like no other Advent.....like no other time in my life. May you come in and fill my heart with that hope the people were desperately waiting for as they were seeking out the birth of the Messiah! You are the one. You came Jesus! You came!! You are the perfect gift. I want to experience You every single day.

Hope is defined as: to desire something with confident expectation of its fullfillment

Romans 15:13 says this..."May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

I hope for many things this Advent season. And the things I hope for are not tangible. I pray that you spend some time today thinking about what hope means to you. What kind of excitement do you have this year? Is He waking you up early? Is He causing you to be excited?
Are you anxiously awaiting Him?

I hope that you anxiously await the celebration of Jesus' big day! I hope you cannot wait to get inside church and feel the gift, see the gift, embrace the gift you have received!

I love you Jesus. I want to experience you fully this Advent season. You are unbelievable in what you do and who you are, and I put all my hope in you! May our hope in Him be full all year long.

Merry Christmas! And, Happy Advent season!





8 comments:

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Fran,

LOVE this. God just used this to confirm what I'd been feeling we were to give as gifts this year. (gifts for extended family members)
Have a wonderful week!

blessings!

steph.

Teri said...

Yay Fran! I loved this post! Thanks for sharing this word!

Thanks for the fun comment on my blog!

Guess what??? I just got my wrist band/confirmation from Lifeway for the Siesta Fiesta! Wahoo!

I've missed you too!

Alana said...

What a wonderful message. Thank you for sharing. Honestly I wonder where our (Christians) joy is. I sing on the worship team at our church and sometimes I just can't look at the people because it is just too pitiful.

We have so much to be joyful about!

Joanne said...

So true my friend! "Am I anxiously awaiting Him?" Wow, what a thought. I remember hearing that Billy Graham's mother would greet her children every morning by saying, "What a beautiful day for the Lord to return."

Lord I pray for that waiting heart!

Loved your post Fran...Joanne

Bev Brandon said...

oh my goodness...your post is wonderful!...sitting here in my toasty study about to come unglued cause i am WAITING FOR THE GIFT and looking around thinking i am here by myself right now with everyone asleep in this house and i can hardly contain myself thinking about what we have in Jesus Christ our Wonderful Savior...oh my goodness...it's unbelievable...can't imagine seeing Him face to face and spending Eternity there, I mean like forever...what will we do when we see Him---I think I will be so nervous and bumbling over---
"oh my beautiful God, I am here finally, HOME, You are my Home! And I am so sorry for every minute I ever wasted and everything I did wrong and I AM SO SORRY...SO SORRY...and He will embrace us all with WIDE OPEN ARMS and say "Enter to Joy of your Master" OH MY WORD...SEE WHAT YOU JUST DID TO ME...I CAN'T STOP TALKING/BLOGGING...your post so excited me! thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou...
GOT MY WRISTBAND IN THE MAIL TODAY FOR SAN ANTONIO...let's hope I can go...may be out of town...are you going?

Given Grace said...

Hi Fran,
I found your site through Ang Baylis and Im so glad I stopped by. What an amazing word you had for me today..it was perfect!

As a family, we are usually getting to church right on time, and always rushing...after reading your post I'm already looking at this next Sunday different...I want to get there with that anticipation...because He is coming.
Thank you so much!
Stacey

jennyhope said...

where do you go to church?

Amanda said...

Fran, you get more that you know. I'm so glad you are one of my sisters in Christ. Your joy is so beautiful.
In our anxious waiting, like a beautiful young bride in white, waiting in a small room inside the church, for the bells to ring, may we prepare ourselves in beauty. The kind of beauty that comes from doing kind and good to all, that can only flow out of true selfless love.
The kind of love that passes no judgment. Only saves. That's grace. I'm so glad the church has these beautiful graceful women to look at. May we all be found to be one of them.
May our husbands also be found ready. by simply watching and learning from our example. And may our children be ready also, by our example and patient intruction of good words.
May God bless us, every one.
You greatly blessed me with your insite my sister.

'Hark' call the bells!
How much ringing can we hear?

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

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