Let’s face it. If we are talking Christmas, we are talking presents.  We search for the perfect gift. We make lists and drop hints. We meticulously wrap and adorn with bows and then drive our loved ones crazy as we make then wait before they can be opened. 

This is the true gift of presents - the expectation of the unknown but also coming, the discovery and the unraveling of the mystery. 

The advent people must of felt like this. There were promises of a gift. Then there were messages sent by angels and signs in the heavens. The anticipation must have been palpable. The thing they had long awaited was finally coming and in its arrival, it defied expectation. 

This is what the best presents do - spark curiosity, build anticipation and unfold mysteries as they are discovered and experienced. 

And as such, the advent season is a gift to us. 

VERSE:  Psalm 40:1-3 

I waited patiently for the Lord;

    he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

    out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock

    and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,

    a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear the Lord

    and put their trust in him.

Prayer: O God of the gifts, we thank you for the lessons of anticipation, expectation and discovery. Renew in us the sense of wonder that comes through the waiting and unfolding. Help us not to rush to the resolution, but revel in the experience of waiting.