This Advent season, the stars are aligning in my waiting. At face value, that sounds stupid. I know it does, but I'll try to explain.

The songs are singing truths from the sermons with themes that are explored and emphasized in the Advent readings and Jesse Tree ornaments. Typically, in years past, I feel fragmented, trying to piece together this story I know but also don't really know. This year, it's cohesive. And beautiful. And wonderful. As in wonder-filled.

I was challenged on that first Sunday in Advent by a sermon (via podcast by Randy, the pastor of our church in Nashville) to stir wonder. As he said, "the kind of wonder that stirs us to worship, the kind of wonder that is at the root of awe, the kind that takes our breath away, that leads us to see something that is bigger than ourselves."

I've spent the past three weeks singing the Magnificat via Rain for Roots: Waiting Songs while driving to Target or waiting in the kindergarten pickup line. Now, when I hear or read Mary's Song in Luke 1:46-55, I immediately hear the Rain for Roots song:
My soul magnifies the Lord
My spirit rejoices in God
For he who is mighty
Has done great things for me
Holy holy
Holy holy
Holy holy
Is his name
I've heard multiple sermons (via our church in real life and podcasts from multiple Midtown campuses) about the announcement and birth of John the Baptist and Zechariah in the temple. Elliott's sermon looked into Zechariah's season of silence. And again, Rain for Roots:Waiting Songs singing in Zechariah, "His name is John! And he said, 'Blessed be the Lord our God of Israel.'"

We've been reading the Behold the Lamb: An Advent Narrative with the girls each night, admiring and discussing the artwork Russ Ramsey is sharing on his blog. Meanwhile, the She Reads Truth Advent devotional just started posting excerpts of that book. (I told you three years ago it was a good one!)

I'm excited to light candles with my family at our Christmas Eve service tonight. Hopefully the little family members won't meltdown since it's past their bedtime. And even if I can't light a candle myself, may the wonder of this Advent season stir me to worship the One who came to dwell among us.

(Christmas Eve 2013)

Merry Christmas!