“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” —John 1:14a NIV

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life waiting for the arrival of someone special. Because my mother is British, many times we would drive to Boston’s airport and await the arrival of a relative from England, coming on a long-anticipated vacation to America. I’ve waited four times for the return of a loved one from a war zone. My girls and I sat in an old gym for close to three hours long ago in Stuttgart, Germany, waiting for the moment when Ray would arrive, safely home from the Persian Gulf War. Later, I would greet my oldest daughter as she returned from Afghanistan, and later still, celebrate my sons-in-law as they also returned from Afghanistan.

Waiting is hard. Anticipation threads itself with anxiety, especially when times are troubled and all sorts of things could happen to prevent the return of our loved ones. It’s easy to live in dread, wondering if we will ever see them again. Some days it’s awfully hard to trust that God has it all under control. The yearning causes real and genuine heart hurt.

An actual arrival, on the other hand, is wildly, wonderfully fantastic. Somehow, the yearning and the anticipation, the planning and preparation build into a glorious grand finale when the person for whom we have longed finally appears. Joy bursts forth! Tears flow. Hearts swell and then settle, finally, in relief. Hugs abound. This dearly loved person has returned and all is well.

Each year at this time, those of us who have yielded our hearts and bowed our heads to the Lord Jesus begin a journey of waiting in anticipation of the celebration of the greatest arrival of all time. Yes, it’s Advent season once again. In four short weeks, we practice waiting and, in the waiting, we remember the centuries of longing for God to come to earth and make things right. People suffered, yearned, wondered: would it ever really happen? They struggled to trust God’s promises through centuries-long delays. Waiting for God to come was hard. We remember that heart hurt during the month of December, thinking back on the long, long wait.

It culminates, of course, at Christmas, the day we remember the greatest arrival of all time. The day we celebrate once again that concrete time in human history when God entered the world encased in a fragile infant body. The Oxford Dictionary defines “advent” very simply: “The arrival of a notable person or thing.” Well, yes!

Jesus, the most notable person ever, had a concrete and specific birth day. He arrived in the most unlikely way, born in a rough stable with a feeding trough—a manger—for His bed. His mother was most likely a teenager, and she was far from home with only her new husband, who was not the father of the baby, to help her give birth. Within two years of His birth, Jesus was a refugee in Egypt, fleeing with His parents from those who wished Him dead. Throughout His time on Earth, He experienced the hardest parts of life, often sleeping outside with no home of His own and experiencing torture eventually at the hands of the Roman government. Yet, what He did in a tiny country in relative obscurity, changed the trajectory of the world and the fate of humankind. What a story! What a rich, rich gift He gave us with His coming and later with His sacrificial death. What a victory we see in His conquering of death and His gaining eternal life for us!

This is worthy of remembering each year.

Let’s not allow Jesus to fade into the background as we buy our trees and presents and host our parties. The epicenter of human history was that time when God put on flesh and lived among us for a little over three decades. It changed everything. So, let’s anticipate. Let’s plan and prepare for a remembering of that great arrival. Let’s renew our awe as we read the old, old stories once again and rejoice with the shepherds, bow with the Magi, and treasure it all up in our hearts like His mother did all those years ago.

Waiting is hard. Arrivals are awesome! Let’s not miss this amazing story this Advent season. Let’s live it fully … and bow our heads in reverent awe.

Lord Jesus, renew in us a sense of wonder. Remind us of the many centuries of yearning as Your people waited for Your arrival. Help us to enter into this time of waiting with eager anticipation. Thank You for coming to earth, Lord. We bow in awe of You. Amen.

You are loved,




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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5 Comments. Leave new

  • Margaret Fowler
    November 28, 2022 1:48 pm

    “Joy bursts forth. Tears flow.” Oh yes, so true. I am very good at tears! What a beautiful message as we prepare for the busyness of the season. Praise God for His many blessings, for Christmas, for Christ in our hearts.

    • You know that feeling so well, greeting a far-away loved one come home to visit! And oh the longing for when Christ will return to make all things right … we’ll be standing, perhaps side by side, with tears flowing in joy then, too!

  • Sharon, your message is beautiful. Praising and thanking God,
    along with you and your mother for “The Greatest Gift” ever,
    our Lord and Savior, Jesus!

  • Hello’s are the best ever. The bestest of all is the hello from the One we weren’t even looking for until He came and found us. Thanks for the wonderful message today!!!!


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