What is Advent?
But as for me, I will look to the LORD;â€¨ I will wait for the God of my salvation;â€¨ my God will hear me.
(Micah 7:7 ESV)
Christmas, it’s a word, season and celebration that evokes a wide variety of emotions. Perhaps some of the things that come to mind are: Lights, the scent of fresh Christmas trees (and the allergies that come with that), rich foods and (hopefully) even richer time together. For many it also means things like; loneliness, stress, late night wrapping of last minute and under-appreciated gifts, over-spending and even debt we’re recovering from months into the new year.
Well, what a fun subject!
Here’s the question we’re left with as Christ’s followers; what should our focus be during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season?
We’re called to be salt and light to the world around us, radically different than the world we live in because of the Kingdom we’re now a part of. Can this be accomplished while still enjoying the holidays? Absolutely, but let’s have our joy informed by the Gospel, our salvation and God’s Word rather than the trappings of this earth.
What does all of this have to do with Advent?
“Advent” simply means this: “coming” or “arrival” - for many children there’s a great anticipation at the “coming” or “arrival” of brightly wrapped gifts on Christmas morning. For many adults there’s a great anticipation of the bright, smiling faces we’ll try to capture in our mind’s eye to simply get us through the more mundane or difficult moments of parenting.
Ultimately, the celebration of advent reminds us of the millennia of anticipating and preparing for a Savior that the nation of Israel endured while awaiting a Messiah. Celebrating Advent also informs our waiting for a day when our true King will once again rule and reign a new heaven and a new earth.
Yes, our Messiah has come! There is now a second coming that we are waiting for, a King’s arrival that should be marked by great anticipation.
Our eagerness and desire for the promise of Heaven will add an excitement that cannot be matched by the best of holiday celebration, the greatest of earthly gifts or the richest of holiday foods. It will last far longer than that, marked by eternity in the presence of the Almighty God, made possible through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and a promise sealed by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our daily lives.
Will you, with great anticipation, wait and reflect with us this Christmas Advent Season?
Our celebration of Advent will start corporately on Sunday, November 30th as a part of our 10a service. Next week I'll post more information on what is involved in celebrating advent as well as an explanation of why we're celebrating as a church.