A question I am often asked is, “What is Advent?” This is an excellent question! In the following video, this question was asked of several young children who aren’t afraid to share what they truly think. As you listen to their responses, think about how you personally might answer the question of Advent.
Honestly, I don’t think children are the only ones a little confused about what this time of year is all about. So to help clear up some of the questions and mystery around this season, I thought I would spend a few moments sharing a couple thoughts on Advent. If a child, coworker, friend, or other family member asked you about Advent, how would you answer their question? Do you know what this time of year is all about? When and why we celebrate it?
The season of Advent has been a season celebrated in the church for many years as a way to prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas. Personally, I always love this season because it helps me and my family to re-center on the important things of life: God, faith, family, and my friends.
The word advent derives from the Latin adventus meaning “coming” or “arrival.” This is the heart of what the Advent season is all about as the church, along with all of creation, awaits with great anticipation the coming, or arrival, of Jesus Christ, born at a manger in Bethlehem. He is the long-awaited promise in the flesh, who ushered in a new covenant that finds fulfillment on a cross and empty tomb. I found the following video to be helpful in describing the season of Advent as well as looking at the Advent wreath.
I hope and pray that this season of Advent is one of preparation for you and your family as we together step closer and closer to the manger to celebrate the birth of Jesus. His incarnational presence among us, and for us, gives incredible hope to the dark and broken world surrounding us. His birth means that the life we live isn’t all that there is, but through this child, God is dispelling the shadows that veil our eyes to work before us a new story with an incredible ending beyond description or full comprehension this side of heaven (to get a glimpse of this image look up Revelation 21:1-6)! The good news in the manger is that Christ is coming back again one day, to gather together and bring home all who call upon Jesus as Lord and Savior. As we approach Bethlehem once again, or maybe for the first time, remember that God is at work to prepare us for the most wonderful gift of all, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, who desires to make a home in our hearts and lives. The Lord freely extends this gift to us in His Word, Communion, and Baptism, through which He speaks into our lives the joy of Christmas, to prepare us for a future life in Him. I can’t wait!
Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her King!
Come, Lord Jesus, come!