Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Waiting for the Manger

As we brought boxes out of storage last weekend in preparation for Advent, we gave the "big job" (the tree) to Ender and Daddy. It was Ezra who came alongside me to open the most carefully wrapped pieces. 

"Who is this?" he asks, holding the pregnant figure carefully.

"Mary. She has a long way to go. Do you see her belly? There is a baby in there."

His face lights up. "That's baby Jesus!"

We pull Joseph from his wrapping, followed by a few sheep and a donkey. Next a shepherd, and he listens closely to the story again.

Where were the shepherds that night? In their fields, and it was the angels who came to tell them!

"They should go in the stable now."

I explain that it isn't time yet. We have to wait.

The creche is empty, waiting for a pregnant mother tired from her travels, ready for a moment of rest. My little three-year-old looks at the pieces scattered around our living room- wise men together in one place, the farthest to travel, the shepherds in makeshift fields, Mary and Joseph traveling... and he says "That's a long wait."

That night we light the first purple candle and Ender fills his little brother in on Advent. "It's a lot of waiting, but it's exciting!" he says, and Ezra catches on.

This is expectation at its finest; the very best of endings where a babe is born to become the man who will save the world. He is the reason we sing, the reason we celebrate, the reason we give of ourselves.

At the end of the evening shepherds, wisemen and a young couple are set for their slow journey to the manger over the next month. There is a tree ready to hold Jesse Tree ornaments and a circle of candles as our reminder of the wait- one lit, the others awaiting their turn.

Every little piece is for these two boys, to show them the journey taken by a young expectant mother and her husband, a journey taken by lowly shepherds and great kings- the journey they too must take to find the manger, the Christ!

Ezra lingers downstairs, and he reaches to touch Mary.

"When does the baby get home?" he asks.

"Soon." I say. "Every day they get a little bit closer, and on Christmas we will get to see the baby."

He smiles. "I can't wait to see Him."


Ann Voskamp invites us to write this week about preparing for the coming of Christ.

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  1. Beautiful post! I can't wait to see Him too!

  2. I love it!! Aren't 3 year olds fun :-)

  3. I have to say- already this advent has been more full of wonder than any before. Ezra has certainly brought us all a fresh perspective. :)

  4. I also can't wait to see Him! I never know how He will look or where He will surprise me. Thank you for sharing a slice of your life with us.


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