Advent is the time period leading up to an event that usually includes preparation, anticipation, and expectation.
So how do we celebrate the Advent of Christmas?
Preparation: Traditionally our culture has celebrated the Advent as a time to prepare for Christmas. However, sometimes the focus can get lost when we do that.
Before Jesus was born the Advent would have been looking forward to the coming of Christ. But now we know He has already come as a baby, and has returned to heaven and is now sitting at the right hand of the Father. Sometimes Advent celebrations become a commercial advent: a preparing and anticipation of Christmas, the gifts, the gatherings, the fun.
Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we have a real Advent to celebrate and that is because Jesus IS coming! Jesus promised when He went away that He would come back. This Christmas let’s prepare for His second coming, which was made possible through His first coming.
As we prepare we must look at our own hearts. Are we in a good, intimate relationship with Jesus? Have we invited as many people as we can to be part of His family?
Anticipation: Many people look at the Advent of Christmas as a fun and happy occasion. We’ve cleaned up the stable, sanitized the manger and bleached the birthing cloths. We forget that Jesus didn’t come to give us Christmas, He came to give us Himself.
As we anticipate the Second Coming of Jesus we must be sure we anticipate the right thing. Often we avoid thinking or dwelling on the idea of Jesus coming back because it seems scary, or so unpredictable. Yet, God instructed us to pray that Jesus would come quickly!
Growing a heart of anticipation for Jesus’ return means we need to look at how desperately this world needs to be released from bondage. We need to study to know more about Him so we fall in love with Him and eagerly await the coming of our king. As we learn about God’s holiness and his love for his people we begin to grow an anticipation of the love reunion there will be between God and those who love him.
Expectation: Many of us have lost sight of the fact that Jesus came as a baby when they thought their Messiah would come as a political leader. They were expecting a King, they got a baby.
This time, though, we know He is coming not as a baby but as a King, a Warrior, and a Judge. The political climate in the world, the failing economics, the fighting between nations… all of that will end eventually.
As we celebrate advent this year, let’s focus on preparing our hearts for his return. Let’s pray for Jesus to come quickly. And let’s look forward to the day when there will be no wars, no sickness, no famine, no death.
That’s an Advent worth Celebrating!!
Carla Anne Coroy