This year Gracie’s pre-school teachers had the kids create advent calendars as a class project. The Calendar says “J is for Jesus!” And has one chocolate kiss for each day leading up to Christ’s birth. All the kids took them home and began to count down the days until Christmas. Very sweet (Literally and figuratively.)
I am here to tell you that virtually without fail, Gracie has come down each morning and stood in front of the” J is of Jesus” kiss calendar and said: “Mama, I’m waiting for Jesus birthday. May I have my waiting for Jesus’ birthday chocolate?” with a grin spanning her face that itself is too sweet. Waiting for Jesus birthday should be sweet.
I imagine what it must have been like to be Mary. Having been visited by the Angel Gabrielle and told such marvelous news. To be chosen as the savior’s mother. To be trusted with carrying Him for nine months in pregnancy. Waiting for Jesus’ birthday must have been sweet. Is there anything sweeter than the day your child is born and first held in your arms? And Mary’s was the child who would grow to be the King of Kings, Wonderful Counselor, Our mighty God, The Prince of Peace… the King whose kingdom would never end. “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) Imagine how sweet….
As I got to thinking more about the arrival of Christmas and the birth of Jesus, I thought what a wonderful symbol this advent activity established. On first glace you might think it’s all about the indulgence in the candy and the consumption of a treat. But on second glance I feel it lends itself to much more. We are only allowed one chocolate each day. This shows discipline and self-restrain, while patiently waiting for the grand celebration. At the same time each day is set in a foundation of sweetness symbolized by the little treat, and it mounts the great anticipation for the day to come. As we count down the days waiting for Jesus’ birthday, it gives us a moment to pause and remember exactly what it is we are waiting for… the coming of the King.
One of my favorite Christmas Carols (Ok, who are we kidding, they’re all my favorites) But, nonetheless, one of my favorites is “The Holly and the Ivy” because it captures this sentiment so well in one verse:
Oh, the rising of the sun and the running of the deer, The playing of the merry horn, and sweet singing in the choir.
The holly bears a blossom as white as lily flower, And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to be our sweet savior.
I pray as we come closer to the grand celebration you are filled with Divine Sweetness!