This Christmas season I’ve been unusually drawn to the concept of Advent. Advent means simply waiting for an expected arrival. Here in America and in our households, we wait for Christmas to arrive. The day of Christmas – full of family, friends, presents, celebration, food, memories – is anxiously awaited for. We can’t wait for this time of the year, it contains so many blessings.
Growing up, for several years at least, we kept an Advent calendar. I never paid this much mind. I thought the contents of each day were pretty lame, but I wish I would have taken more time to think about what we were “adventing.” In the Old Testament, the people of Israel were waiting for their true King to come. The one prophesied in Genesis 3 and the one who would surpass all the judges, kings, and leaders Israel ever had. They yearned for this one to come – the Messiah.
As Christians, we recognize that Jesus was indeed this Messiah. He fulfilled their longing, even if it wasn’t in all of the ways they were looking for Him to do it in. In similar ways, we’re yearning for Christmas day to come here. We’re “adventing” it. And all of this should reflect back to how the Israelites “advented” their Messiah. But for them, it wasn’t for 25 days, or even 364 days. It was thousands upon thousands of years … and for some, they’re still waiting.
So I encourage you, Jack, to in this time of waiting for Christmas, give some thought to the reason we have this concept of Advent. I think of small children, how much they yearn for Christmas days (mostly because of the gifts) – and how even if this feeds consumerism, it can be used as an example of how we waited for Jesus, and how He came and fulfilled us much beyond what we were ever expecting. Till next time, Jack.