Teaching the lectionary lessons this year has helped me to value Advent in a way I’ve never done before. In the church, Advent is a time to remember Jesus’ first arrival and to prepare for his return. We get to stop and ponder the gift that God gave us and continues to give us as the winter shadows grow. We can let the evenings be still. We can sing brooding carols in minor keys.

This isn’t how the world views December. I’m one of those who likes to get my tree up right after Thanksgiving so it’s up for at least a month. I plan some during October and November, but I never really do more than think, so not much gets done. And then I turn around and it’s December and I feel like the stores and the news and all the people are saying, “YOU ARE BEHIND!! Catch up!!”

But I’m not behind, and neither are you. We are right where we need to be, watching and waiting for the wonder of a baby King and the glory of His return.

Christmas will come in its own time. Meanwhile, enjoy the preparation. Enjoy the journey to the manger. We just don’t have to be there right this second.