Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting is now available! For the next few weeks I have invited the members of my “street team” to share their stories and reflections on the book, the topic of waiting, and Advent. (This post contains affiliate links.)
Waiting can be excruciating. I’ve never been particularly good at it myself. When I was a small child, I was the kid unwrapping Christmas presents the day my parents put them out. As a teenager with a first job, I was that person who couldn’t wait until Christmas Day to see my family and friends open their gifts. I grew into the adult who doesn’t try too hard to keep two young kids from “spoiling surprises” for anyone. I have a sincere inability to handle the tension of waiting to see the smiles as paper falls to the floor and shiny, wonderful, gifts are revealed. In this way, I am a product of this American modern culture I live in.
So perhaps nobody can (or should) be more surprised by my choosing to gift family and special friends this November with an advent experience.
Kris points out in her beautiful book, Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting, that the season of Advent is a season of waiting. “It implies that we’re waiting for something – or Someone” (page 1).
And boy, are my people and I waiting. This year has been an incredible year of “all the hard” for most of us. We’ve moved, we’ve grieved the loss of loved ones, we’ve faced (or are facing) health challenges, we’ve gotten married, we’ve had babies, we’ve gotten divorced, we’ve buried parents. We’ve lamented onset of dementia, we’ve cried over loss of careers. The list could go on, but I’m guessing you’ve got the idea, because I’m guessing you’ve been in some fires yourself.
As I prayed over this year’s family gift (we choose one standard family and close friends gift every year – makes shopping and feelings management so much easier!), I was also reading Kris’s book. As I read the words on the pages, I kept coming back to the fact that I wish so badly for my family and friends to experience Advent in a multi-sensory, meaningful way.
From my studies in health education, I know that the more we engage a variety of senses, the more information seems to stick. And I realized I want more for my gift recipients than to just receive a static object that maybe they like, maybe they don’t, maybe they’ll use and maybe they won’t. I want them to taste, see, hear, smell and feel that the Lord is so good. I want them to wake up on Christmas morning in awe and wonder at the coming of Christ the King and I want to do whatever I can, with whatever skills and resources I have, to create meaningful experiential gifts.
So, during the week of Thanksgiving, I’ll be shipping these golden and craft paper boxes that have been thoughtfully but badly decorated (creativity is so NOT my skill-set!) to the homes of my loved ones in several states and a handful of countries.
In each box, I’m including a copy of Come Lord Jesus, an instrumental Christmas CD, a candle, a hand-painted candle holder, holiday tea and mulling spices, along with a card from me explaining a bit about the gift.
Not everyone on the gift recipient list is a Christian, so this gift is admittedly a bit of a risk. I do worry about alienating some friends and family and at one point, had decided against this gift. However, while considering it for a couple weeks, the Holy Spirit really pressed upon me that whether there’s an awareness of it or not, everyone on this list is going through the same things. We’re all waiting. And we all need to be reminded of who God has been in the past, who He is now and who He will be in the future.
In Christ, He is the God who came in the flesh and walked among us, eventually going to the cross for us, so that we can now be free from the stress, tension and impatience the world tries to sell us.
Dear friendly folks, will you please join me in praying for these boxes as they leave? Will you continue to pray for the message in Kris’s book? That God will amplify His message through her and bless all who read?
Guest Post By
Christa Cordova is a homeschooling mom to her two little ones, full-time graduate student at Fuller Theological Seminary and serves alongside a leadership team dedicated to bringing faith-based mind-body wellness ministries to churches. Along with her husband, Jason, she and her family have lived, worked and loved in three countries and seven of the United States. She and her family currently split time between homes in Northern California and Southern Washington State. Connect with Christa on her blog, and on Facebook.