Tuesday, December 15, 2015

An Unexpected Advent

As we keep securing loose ends here in Kenya and preparing to head stateside for an extended furlough, the Christmas season finds us waiting - waiting on official documents, waiting for work to be completed on the Resource Center, waiting to travel… 

Waiting in the midst of transition feels awkward. Do we decorate a tree when our home is basically packed, and the living room hosts more boxes than furniture? Do we participate in gift exchanges when we’ll just need to package up whatever we give or receive? The “normal” activities surrounding Christmas are not normal anymore, especially when community around us doesn’t traditionally celebrate the way we expected to this year. To sum it up - we didn’t plan to be here now. We need to rethink Advent.

Advent means the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. The Advent of Christmas is supposed to prepare us for meaningful commemoration of Christ’s birth. Giving gifts, decorating, eating special foods and being in the midst of family helps set the season apart, but they cannot be essential elements. Life’s many twists and turns force us to find Advent’s meaning without aesthetic props.

This unexpected Advent changes us. In the waiting for what we want, I see waiting’s power - its ability to destroy hope or build anticipation, its capacity to tempt worry or create childlike wonder. In the midst of disappointment, can we let our hearts become inflamed with Advent's joy? The choice is made by what we yearn for most.

This year, we’ll hang twinkling lights over our packed boxes and make paper snowflakes to hang in the African sun. We’ll play games with orphaned children and cook sweets with widowed mamas. Together, during this unexpected Advent we will eagerly wait for His Arrival

The Birth of the Savior.
The Appearance of Eternal Life.
The Emergence of Redemption.
The Dawn of Liberation.
The Rise of Love’s Kingdom.
The Approach of Justice.
The Coming of the King.

Asante sana for your prayers, support and encouragement.
hugs from the haugers Ooo0o