We got the call that our son and his wife had left for the hospital. Our excitement increased thinking the next time we hear from them they will share the wonderful news of becoming parents for the first time. And we’d be grandparents. Yay! We went to bed believing we’d wake to receive the news.
Morning came. Still in labour.
Lunchtime. Still going.
Staying focused on anything else was pretty difficult. The anticipation was thrilling. Words of encouragement for our son as he worried for the love of his life as she so bravely persevered.
Evening came. All was quiet.
We hoped and prayed for news and that they wouldn’t enter into a second night of labour.
Just after dinner, the text arrived. How our hearts jumped into our throats.
A son. A healthy boy. And mom is doing well after such a long pre-labour and labour. Oh, and new dad is coping too. Almost nine months they had waited for this moment. A moment they’ll never forget and cherish for as long as they live.
Such a blessing. Moses Maxwell. I am the grandfather of Moses! Ha.
Remembrance and Anticipation
Most of us have been there. For many, it’s a fairly recent experience. For others like me, it’s now twenty-plus years since our last children were born. But they are still moments that we can recall vividly.
I reflected often about my two birth experiences during my son and daughter-in-law’s pregnancy. I remembered as I anticipated the birth of their child.
Advent commences this Sunday (3 December). Advent is a time of waiting. The name Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming” or “arrival.” Beginning each year on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, Advent commemorates the birth of Jesus and also anticipates His return. As Ann Voskamp says we are “perpetual Advent people” waiting on Christ’s return.
During Advent we both remember and anticipate. We remember when Jesus became man and chose to live as one of us. We don’t just celebrate that He came, but also why He came.
We also anticipate His promised return. At Christmas we celebrate Jesus, His birth, but also that He will come again to make all things new.
“Jesus Christ has come, and He is coming again. This is the heart of Advent.” (He Reads Truth)
The Branch Gives us Hope
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” (Isaiah 11:1-2)
Advent is all about hope. In the who is coming.
We can believe in that hope. Because He did come 2,000 years ago on that Christmas morn, born in a food trough, son to a teenage mom and her husband.
We can believe in that hope. Because He has come to us. He is in us and we are in Him.
We can believe in that hope. Because He has told us He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5). Even when our beloved doesn’t know Him.
Christmas can be a tough season for we SUMites because we choose to celebrate Jesus and not Santa. We pop off to church on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day, alone.
But remember Jesus understands loneliness. He understands being alone. He experienced it, himself. He understands rejection because He lived it.
He understands us. Really, truly! Because He has chosen each one of us.
Choose to remember Him when the enemy throws the darts of loneliness at you, when he tries to take away your joy in the One we celebrate.
I hope you are able to spend some time in the next few weeks reflecting on the hope of Advent. On Jesus. Allow His Words to “dwell in your richly.” Join me over these next four weeks as I share some more on this wonderful season of … remembering and anticipating.
Wishing all of my SUMite friends a blessed Advent season full of childlike hope and anticipation.
Grace and peace,