December 3rd by Sarah Nepple
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.”
Hope in the midst of a difficult time! This is what advent is all about! We need hope. Sometimes we feel like that stump. But now we are waiting and preparing for the celebration of the birth of Jesus! These words are describing such a hopeful, magical time that will come!
There is nothing more magical than the feeling I had on Christmas Eve growing up. We have a special wooden sign in our family that is part of our decorations and reads, “Christmas Eve Forever.” I remember the year we added this sign to the decorations at my grandparents’ house. It came after years of celebrating together every Christmas Eve. Nana and Pop were so excited to find the sign at the store and had to add it to our special Christmas Eve celebration. It reminded us of the magic of the Advent and Christmas seasons—especially the magic of the family being all together sharing laughter, conversations, and traditions.
One of the many treasured traditions on Christmas Eve was the anticipation of hearing the story of the birth of Christ. All the children would wait as patiently as we could while the adults took turns reading the story, eagerly waiting for Nana to hand us a nativity figurine wrapped in tissue paper. We’d very carefully unwrap the piece and add it to the creche. It was something we knew was going to happen year after year, yet it was just as magical each time we gathered as a family in the foyer and living room and heard the miracle of Jesus. Nothing else mattered to me that night. I had all the important people in my life in one house.
May you be blessed with the anticipation of hope of the Christ Child this Advent season! And of course, Christmas Eve Forever!