By Vlad and Eunice Davidiuk
For children, the majesty and excitement of Christmas is often focused on a single day, sometimes specific early-morning hours of that day when the house fills with laughter and torn pieces of wrapping paper. The unbridled, enthusiastic joy of Christmas morning is one common to children, but it is as adults - especially as parents - that we have begun to truly appreciate the significance of the season, as we experience the gift of Christmas itself.
As Christians, we believe in and live out the tenets of our faith, but it is through Advent that we become immersed in the story. The music, the candles, the services all add to and heighten the resonance of the holiday, giving it a texture, shaping the memory with light and quiet excitement. Through the patient telling and re-telling of the Christmas story with our children, we bring to life again the desperate anticipation of Christ's birth and the magnitude of God's everlasting love
More than merely waiting for Christmas to arrive, the Advent season encourages our family to joyfully anticipate the arrival of Christmas Day by taking pleasure and delight in the journey. By remembering and recounting the events that led to and shaped the moment that Christ came to be born, we once again become part of the story and part of the message. We become the herald angels who announce ?Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.?
That Christ came to be born for us, live for us, die for us, and ultimately rise again for us brings into existence a new circle of life. It gives rise to a new, uplifted perspective that shapes the way we see ourselves and others - as children of God showered by grace - a perspective we love to share with others.
Advent helps us to remember that these inextricably linked moments each happened for a reason, that each fulfilled a deep purpose. To know we serve and love a God who is not only the creator of the universe, but is also its author is to know that there are no coincidences, and that the story was written with intent. The universe is a love letter, and the season of Advent reminds us that the promises of hope, love, joy, and peace are bound together and given to each of us - like presents on Christmas morning.