When I was a kid, we always had an advent calendar at Christmas time. It wasn’t one with a candy or piece of chocolate for each day. Instead, it had scripture and a part of the Christmas story and a picture for each day. I never even knew there were advent calendars with chocolate until  some of my friends told me when I was about 13.

I remember how each day, my brother and I would look forward to opening up that day’s window on the calendar to see what the picture was like and what the scripture said. My parents would gather with us and Matthew and I would alternate being the window-opener. It was a simple, beautiful tradition. Then one year, my Mom wasn’t able to find the advent calendars we had been using for years. We were disappointed and the tradition fell by the wayside, but the memory remains.

So I decided that this year, I would blog an advent calendar. Each day I will post a picture and a Scripture and some little reflection on the Christmas story.

Let’s begin:

Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands. (Isaiah 43:19 MSG)

This is one of God’s promises to us. That he is doing something new. That he is making a way where there is no way, and bringing life to the lifeless. This promise is fulfilled in the coming of Jesus as the Messiah, but it is also simply a promise that can help us get through the difficult days. It is so much easier to face difficult times knowing that the One who makes a way where there is no way is on your side.

And today’s picture? Well, I know it may lend itself to commercial Christmas instead of spiritual Christmas, but I just couldn’t resist: