Celebrating Christmas Advent

I am prone to be dull, spiritually drowsy, halfhearted, lukewarm. That is the way human beings are, including Christians, even about great things. Peter knows it and is writing to “awaken” or to “stir up” his readers so that they don’t just know but also feel the wonder of the truth.

What Peter really means, and what I mean, by being “awakened” or “stirred up” is to feel some measure of the joy God intends for Christmas to bring. “Behold, I bring you good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10). Not small joy. Not modest joy. But “great joy.” If we don’t feel this when we ponder the incarnation of the Son of God, we need “awakening.” We need to be “stirred up.”

– The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper

A lifetime Christian can struggle with finding the Christmas season sort of normal, and so we get swept up more in the celebration of the season than in why the season exists in the first place. I am challenging myself this Christmas to turn my thoughts to the joy of Christ’s coming. I remember telling my mother-in-law after my first year of marriage to her daughter that if I had known how good it would be to be married to Allison that I would have been even more excited on our wedding day. And I think I might say something similar to Jesus someday. If I had understood how great your grace and sacrifice was, I would have been even more excited to celebrate your advent each year.

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