Advent, Week One

The first week of Advent….



Hope? (yes, question mark intended that day)
In Charge.
Refiner’s Fire.
These are the first seven words (okay, two are phrases) I’ve added to my advent calendar this year. I wish I was more of a doodler so I could make it look all artistic and beautiful, but I never was an artist, so this is what I get.
Some of the questions from this Messiah/Advent book I have are way more soul-searching than I bargained for. But maybe that’s half the point. 
Today in Sunday School, I reiterated that we have to get out of the mindset that the Old Testament is a vengeful tale of a God on high tossing lightning bolts of justice at any who cross his path. I’ve read and studied and taught more mercy and love this year than I anticipated. And so many key figures and stories of the Old Testament were intended to prepare the Children of Israel for Jesus’ arrival, to prepare them to realize they needed a Savior. They needed to anticipate Him.
The questions I’m pondering as I listen to the Messiah each day are fodder for some pretty interesting personal writing, writing I’m not yet ready to share with the world. But it’s challenging some of my perceptions about what it means to really have a relationship with Jesus and what He and I should expect from each other, and how I should anticipate Christmas.
One week in, and Advent is nothing like I thought it would be. I thought it would be all feel-good fluff; the stuff of Hallmark Christmas movies and community cheer. 
It’s not that at all, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing…

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