I love this time of year. Advent. The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.”
For many the focus during this time of the year is on the “arrival” of the Christmas cards in the mail; taking note of who remembered us this year; scrutinizing the card’s photo, the message, is it signed or pre-printed and whether or not a personal note was included. Or what gift to buy, how much to spend, how much will the other person spend, did we get a gift last year from them…
This year let’s set aside what the cards look like or how big the gifts are. Instead focus this season on the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ – His First Advent – His First Arrival on earth, and let us anticipate His Second Advent – His return.
We are not just simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. We are celebrating the truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ; His faithfulness and the hope that we have in eternal life.
This is not just hope for a better day or hope for the lessening of pain and suffering. It is more about hope that with Christ, all things are possible.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
Over the span of four thousand years, God has revealed Himself to be a God of hope.
The best example of this hope is the crucifixion itself, followed by the resurrection. And it is that shadow of the cross which fell over the manger that gives each of us hope today.
What is the hope and wonder of Advent? It is a way to live, not just to survive, but to live authentically amidst all the problems of life with a Faith that continues to see hope when there is no present evidence of it, just because God is God.
Words on a card will not fill us with hope. Instead, let us place our hope in Christ so that we may be filled with all joy and peace. Remember God’s message of Christ Jesus and share His hope with the world this Christmas season and always.