Advent.  A beginning.  A new beginning.  This is the season of the year when we prepare for Christ’s birth. 

When Jesus was born, the shepherds knew that something was afoot.  The wisemen knew that God was doing something special.  The angels were singing God’s praises, too. 

But most of the people who knew Jesus as a baby just thought he was just another baby.  One of many.  The littlest.  The least.  Most people didn’t have any idea that in Jesus, God was doing something new.

And I suspect that most people didn’t think that Jesus was anything special until he grew up and began his ministry.  Crowds flocked to see his miracles and hear his teachings.  Even then, most people didn’t understand that God was doing something new.  They crucified him, after all.

When Jesus was born, God did something new.  And it’s strange to me that it was thirty years—a whole generation—before many people noticed.  It was like the people were startled awake one morning, “Holy cow!  God did something new in our midst 30 years ago!  And I’m just now noticing!”

God is doing something new in our lives, too.  God has been up to it for quite some time — our whole lives, in fact.  God is giving us a new beginning.  God is giving us a chance to start over, a clean slate.  God has made us his children.  We are reconciled to him and to each other, too.  Have we noticed?  Does the new beginning that God gives us in Jesus mean anything to us?  Is it our greatest treasure?  Or are we asleep?

It’s Advent.  Jesus is calling us to wake up and discover this new thing he’s been doing in our lives.  You can trust that the imprint of his hand is on you.  He’s been holding you your whole life.