We are one week out from the beginning of the Advent season. Once I learned this word, Advent, I loved it. Here are the definitions.
— the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting
— the coming of Christ at the Incarnation
— not capitalized: a coming into being or use
I included Advent and Incarnation, among other appropriate words in my first public Bible teaching opportunity. It was 14 years ago and I still love this time.
One, people are generally nicer. Society moves from the dog-eat-dog and human-kill-human mindset to a verbalized peace and goodwill hope. Two, there’s an inundation of positive messages like at no other time of year — give, serve, help, remember, love, peace, soldiers, etc. We settle in for Christmas movies, prep for traditions, and soften the hardened layers we needed in the earlier parts of the year. Three, we embrace awareness of our blessings. We review the year and realize the hard parts did not define our year but defined our character.
I look forward to the Advent season because hope finds me and connects with my wavering faith. I know in Advent, according to the scriptures, that I can expect to see the Christ child manifest in my life. Prophetic promises yield a King in a manger, and I can rightfully look for a tangible expression of Advent.
Advent is the time we take our cues from the story of the birth of Jesus. We become like shepherds, and consider our journey to meet Him. We look to the east for the guiding star. We start to look for Jesus’ birth in our lives in manger places, places that inspire us to make room in our INNer selves for His love, light, and lesson. We even become better observers, like the stable animals, and protect our environments better with the love of God.
Advent is power. Nod at Santa, bells, and ornaments if you want. Enjoy the decorations and traditions. But during Advent, look for Jesus. Look to watch Him born in the neglected areas of your life. Look for His entrance into the storage of our souls. Advent never disappoints. In the manger we find Him. In the manger, we bow before Him and our lives crown Him King again.
Selah, and love to all.