This weekend, we entered into the season of Advent. It's a beautiful season of waiting, anticipating, and remembering. In keeping with the theme, we will wander slowly through the story of Jesus' birth, stopping along the way to examine the small, intimate moments that happen so often as we wait for the birth of a child.
From beginning to end, the story gives us a glimpse into the purpose and meaning of Jesus' incarnation. We will take our time wandering through each part, giving us moments of rest and reflection in the midst of this hectic season.
Let us begin.
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary.
Our story begins during the time Mary and Joseph are betrothed. We don't really have an equivalent to betrothal in today's society. Engagement is a commitment to marry someone, but betrothal was something more. It was a covenant that was very difficult to break. In effect, the couple was not married, but was bound to marriage. It was a time of in-between, a time of "not yet" and simultaneously a time of "already."
When I pause at the end of these verses, I can almost see Mary and Joseph going about their everyday lives. Simple, carefree, and totally unaware of what is coming. What a dramatic change they are about to experience. There was no way to prepare for what was about to happen, but they were ready nonetheless.
As we begin this Advent season today, we are in the same time of in-between. The Savior is promised, but is not yet here. He has come to us already, but has not yet returned. We wait, knowing that the promise of a Savior will not be broken. We wait, knowing that our wildest dreams sometimes aren't enough for the plans God has for us. We wait, hoping that we can be ready when He comes.