How to Prepare for an Easy Advent: While Your Life Feels Like a Mess

Snow’s coming down here now like confetti for a party that just won’t stop and the orchard just keeps on welcoming the whole thing.

Yeah, so only a few days now.

That’s what Advent means — coming.

Only a few more days now and it’s Advent — this waiting for the coming of the holy party.

And Kai’s shaking trees like a big kid at the party and grinning that there are apples still hanging on the trees in the orchard in the middle of all our shaking snow globe.

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Kai’s got the trees feting him now and the dog’s romping like some circus act under the shaking branches —

and if snow falls off trees in the orchard does anybody hear the sound of wonders coming?

It happens when you open the pages of Scripture to read of His coming, of this first Advent, before you ever read of the birth of Jesus — you always have the genealogy of Jesus.

Yeah, maybe that’s the way the Gift unwraps: you have to have Christ’s ­family tree . . . before you have a Christmas tree.

We’re standing out there in trees and the snow coming down and it feels like relief:

If you don’t come to Christmas through Christ’s family tree and you come into the Christmas story just at the Christmas ­tree —​ it’s hard then to understand the meaning of His coming.

Because without the genealogy of Christ, the limbs of His past, the branches of His family, the love story of His heart that has been coming for you since before the ­beginning –—​­ how does Christmas and its tree stand? Its roots would be sheared. The arresting pause of the miracle would be lost.

Because in the time of prophets and kings, the time of Mary and Joseph, it wasn’t your line of credit, line of work, or line of accomplishments that explained who you were. It was your family line. It was your family tree.

It was family that mattered. Family gives you context, and origin gives you understanding, and the family tree of Christ always gives you hope.

The coming of Christ was right through families of messed-​­up monarchs and battling brothers, through affairs and adultery and more than a feud or two, through skeletons in closets and cheaters at tables.

It was in that time of prophets and kings, the time of Mary and Joseph, that men were in genealogies and women were invisible. But for Jesus, women had names and stories and lives that mattered.

The family tree of Christ startlingly notes not one woman but four. Four broken ­women—​­women who felt like outsiders, like ­has-​­beens, like ­never-​­beens.

Women who were weary of being taken advantage of, of being unnoticed and uncherished and unappreciated; women who didn’t fit in, who didn’t know how to keep going, what to believe, where to ­go—​­women who had thought about giving up.

And Jesus claims exactly these who are wandering and wondering and wounded and worn out as His. He grafts you into His line and His story and His heart, and He gives you His name, His lineage, His righteousness. He graces you with plain grace.

Is there a greater Gift you could want or need or have?

Christ comes right to your Christmas tree and looks at your family tree and says, “I am your God, and I am one of you, and I’ll be the Gift, and I’ll take you. Take Me?”

This, this, is the love story that’s been coming for you since the beginning.

You don’t want to miss it — miss Him.

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So there’s this pause and investing in what matters. There is a Stilling. Pondering. Hushing. Each day of Advent, He gives the gift of time — so we have time to be still and wait.

Wait for the coming of the God in the manger who makes Himself bread for us near starved.

For the Savior in swaddlings who makes Himself the robe of righteousness for us worn out.

For Jesus, who makes precisely what none of us can but all of us want: Christmas.

There, here, in the midst of the inconceivable, the loud claims, the hard sells, the big spectacles, Christ comes small, the micro- macro-​­miracle who comes in the whisper and says, Seek Me.

Just where you are, look for the small glimpses of ­God-​­glory breaking in, breaking out, sprouting, shooting, unfurling, making a Kingdom, remaking the world, bearing fruit.

The theology of the Tree, of the Cross, always seeks the presence of God in the belittled gifts of the world.

The small Babe of Bethlehem, the dismissed Son of God, the stripped and beaten Messiah hanging exposed on the ­Tree​ — ­He begs us to spend the attention of Advent on the little. On the little, the least, the lonely, the lost.

Because in the rush, in the hurry, in our addiction to ­speed –—​­ there might be miracles if we slow and don’t step on the unassuming shoot that sprouts from the stump.

When Kai turns with Shalom to run in from the orchard with the dog, you can see it — hear it.

The apple trees hanging out in the orchard — they look ornaments hanging waiting even in these moments, like the decking has begun.

And when snow falls off a tree in the orchard and you are there to hear it — maybe it makes the sound of grace?

Advent, it is made of the moments —

all this slow unfurling of grace.

 

This year, let His wonder to awaken you again, captivate you, capture your heart!

More Of Jesus Only and have a STRESS-FREE, WONDER-FULL Christmas. 

Just a little invite? Come experience a Christmas like you’ve always dreamed? 
So come Christmas morning, you haven’t missed Him?
So come Christmas morning — you’ve unwrapped the greatest gift you yearn for — more of Him.

And here is an heirloom, a Christmas tradition, a wonder for the child in all of us! 

Gather around the Greatest Story this year for the whole family with all 3?

The Greatest Gift (adult edition),
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift (family read aloud edition),
and The Wonder of the Greatest Gift (pop-up edition with your own 14 inch tree, 25 days of readings, 25 day advent flap calendar, hiding all 25 Biblically inspired ornaments! For any age) 

So you don’t miss out on Jesus this year & the The Greatest Christmas.