Don’t you love this time of year? The season of Advent, the season of waiting. In the eyes of a child minutes turned into hours, hours into days and days into weeks. Not so many years ago Sears and Eatons catalogues were dog-eared from us going through them time and time again. There is an excitement at this time of year; with the lights and the decorations, which bring a smile and a warmth to even the toughest of us. We even become a little more sentimental. We become excited even though we know the rest of the story.

I suspect each of us relates to a particular character in the Christmas story. Life’s circumstances change from year to year, which influences who we best relate to in the Christmas story. Perhaps you see yourself relating to Mary. You may have been called upon to accept a responsibility that you thought was well beyond your ability. Like Mary, you may have asked yourself, why has God put me in the situation I found myself. Why, because God knew you could handle it. Are you Mary?

Perhaps you are Joseph, blindsided by an occurrence in your life. You may have said no way, but upon sober reflection, you came to know, that you were the right person at the right time.   Are you Joseph?

Are you a Shepherd, simply sitting under the stars minding your own business? You are happy to be left alone, living on the outskirts of society. But God had a different role for you to play. You became a witness to an event well beyond your comprehension. It is only after time has passed that you come to understand the significance of what you witnessed. Are you a Shepherd?

Are you the innkeeper, feeling good about yourself that you had all your rooms rented for the evening? All you want to do is go to bed and enjoy a good night’s sleep. But no, another person requires your help. You really just want to pass the request off, but your conscience tells you to offer something to the person seeking your help. You respond by putting your guest in your garage. What you did not realize was the significance of your gesture. Are you the Innkeeper?

Perhaps your life experiences parallel the wise men. Did an event occur that you knew had major significance and you had to go witness the event for yourself? Were you the person who jumped in because someone had to? Did you bring the gifts that would make a difference? Are you a Wiseman?

As we begin the journey to Christmas, reflect back on the gifts that you have shared in your lifetime. God sends each of us on a journey. As we journey through Advent may you allow yourself to be called by God to accept, whatever God puts before you. We are not alone, we live in God’s world.

Happy Advent, may your days of waiting and anticipation be filled with peace.