Today is part three of our series on the season of Advent. You can find parts one and two here.
Do you remember your favorite Christmas present ever? For some of us, that might be a tall task. I do remember one gift, however, that I was so happy to receive. It was 1994, on a cold Oklahoma Christmas day. As the presents under the tree began to diminish, I noticed one box remained. It had my name on it. As I opened the gift with such excitement, I could hardly keep it together when I saw what was inside.
An Orlando Magic, Shaquille O'Neal jersey.
Yes, I was a fan of Shaq in my youth. (Until he broke my heart and moved to LA, but I digress)
On that Christmas morning, I received a gift that brought me so much joy. A gift that I would proudly wear for days on end. Even in the dead of winter. There was something about that jersey. I would wear it and proclaim my allegiance to the Magic and to Shaq. I loved showing my support. I loved letting people see this wonderful gift.
As we move in to the third week of the Advent, we have the wonderful opportunity to recognize the joy that Christ brought to earth. When he came, as a baby, Jesus brought good news to all creation. It is a news that can only bring joy to those who hear it and believe.
In Luke's account of Jesus' birth, we see the shepherds coming to see the arrival of this Savior. As they witnessed this newborn King, they began to tell the good news to anyone who might listen. Yes, they were so filled with joy that they could not contain their excitement. In much the same way that I proudly presented that jersey, the Shepherds proudly presented Christ to any who would listen.
Today, we have the opportunity to walk in joy, because we have seen Christ. We have heard and believed the good news of the Gospel, and it is now our turn to proclaim this good news to those around us. And just like any great gift will bring us joy, we should present the story of Christ with joy as well!
As we continue through this season of longing, may we walk with joy. Joy because we know what Christ brought with him in his first Advent. And joy to proclaim, with expectation, that Christ will arrive once again, as King over all.
Here are some resources for anyone looking for more information about Advent.
This Advent Guide by the Village Church includes family devotions and activities.
Here is a daily Advent reading guide from Word of Life Church.
Trinity Grace Church, in New York, has developed a wonderful daily devotional.
Here is a playlist I created in Spotify to help recognize the Advent season.
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