I’m a fan of the star tree-topper. Forget the bows and monograms and all other options. Why? The star reminds me of the point of all this celebration-finding Christ. As I was reading the wise men’s story this morning, a question popped in my brain: just how long did these men journey to find Christ? After a little investigation, I discovered that scholars believe their journey took two years. (See Matthew 2:1-12 for extra confirmation.) They first saw the star on the day of Jesus’ birth and finally arrived when Jesus was around two years old.
Two years of their lives spent searching for Christ! We can’t even wait a week to find Christ in a hundred different areas of our lives. We encounter an obstacle –a mountain to be moved– and we demand He move it now. But what if the journey is the important part? What if the search is what truly leads us to not just find him but continue our journey with him. The journey strengthens our faith, fills our hearts, renews our minds. Now we know that at the end of each journey, He will be found.
In verse 9 of Matthew 2, it says “once again the star appeared.” That’s two appearances, two separate journeys. Our journey to Christ is not a singular experience. It is a life of following the star. And just as it appeared for the wise men more than once, it will appear to us more than once. We should face every morning with the joy of following that star and knowing that it will lead us to a relationship with Christ that is all-fulfilling and always adventurous! So today and tomorrow, and every day that follows, as you keep your eyes focused on what’s above, remember each step leads not only to Him but to know Him better.
Revel in the wait; don’t wish it away.
My life in the past several years has been one long season of waiting. I waited to leave my job. Then I left. I waited to get to the mission field. Then I was there. I waited some more while in language school. Then I spoke Spanish. I waited to love my missionary life. Then I did. I waited to get direction for the next part of our journey. Then I received it. I waited to go stateside. I waited to move to our new home. I waited, I waited, I waited. . . even now I wait.
It seems as if much of life is a waiting period. For those of us who’ve done our not-so-fair share of waiting, we can easily get bogged down in discontentment and forget the joy of what is to come. Advent is known as a season of waiting. However, the word means “the arrival” or “the coming.” Often though, it feels like a season of restless wasting.
During the Advent season, I am content with the waiting process (at least now that I’m an adult). I love the holiday traditions our family enjoys. I revel in quiet mornings of cookie making or chatter-filled evenings decorating the Christmas tree or laughing through our favorite Christmas movies. The waiting is fun because I know what is coming. I’m assured of the promise of Christ’s arrival. And really isn’t that the point.
Why is it I cannot see that I should do the same during any other waiting period of my life? Why can’t I find the contentment in the moment? Why can’t I wait joyfully just in the thought that it will come just as God promised? Why not wait with anticipation not irritation.
This year while we hope expectantly for celebration of the birth of Christ, let us celebrate the wait by enjoying the day and the people around us, by drinking in the contentment of now, by meshing moments into memories weighing them down against the pull of time.
God promised and Christ came. Our waiting is not in vain. Revel in the wait; don’t wish it away.