I have never celebrated or participated in Advent, nor did I really ever venture to understand it. To be honest, all I know of Advent are advent calendars that have small, sweet chocolate surprises behind the cardboard cut-out and punched-out windows numbered 1-24.
This year, I’m learning and celebrating in Advent, in anticipation.
The word “advent” is rooted in the Latin word simply meaning “coming.” Advent is a season of expectant waiting and preparation for the coming of Christ. This side of the life, death and resurrection of Christ, we are able to celebrate this season of advent in two disctinct ways. We look back and identify with those that awaited and longed for the arrival of the Messiah foretold to them. We do this from a perspective infused with knowing that God, in His faithfulness, provided that Messiah in Jesus, just as the Scriptures prophesied. We also look ahead, in expectation and longing for the second coming of Christ.
Advent is not a biblical mandate, but a tradition implored among the Christian tradition to set our minds and hearts on the coming of Christ.
from 121 Advent Bible reading plan
Wow. And this now has just so much more menaing than the commerical advent calendars, services, colors, candles. This is an attitude, advent-attitude that reminds me and guides me to be in awe of the soverignty of God’s plan for salvation and restoration through Jesus Christ, bringing me to advent-attitude of gratitude.
Advent is truly a continuation of Thanksgiving, an extension. The Thanksgiving feast of praise and gradtitude does not just simply end with the meal. It is merely only the beginning and preparing our hearts for Advent.
I want to cry really as I’m learning more about this season of Advent. I only knew (briefly) once of side of this advent-attitude: to prepare our hearts for the coming of baby Jesus, Messiah Christ. It is more than just that; it is a reader-reminder of the promises of Him and to place yourself in the moments of the believers of Old who were desperately waiting for His first coming–
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
Can you feel that longing? I am still feeling that longing of the believers of Old, that expetant hope for a child, Prince of Peace, who is the Wonderful Counselor and who will bring an everlasting peace, peace.
Yes, the listener-believers of Old could have expectant hope and assurance that this son, this child would be born to them and for them for “the zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:7)
THIS: It was/is from God’s deepest passion to enable his Son to come to bring peace and resotration to the ones He loves and to be reunited with them. Even though the people of Old longed, He longed even more, desire so deep, deep red rubies of the heart of pure worth. He still longs for us now and calls for us.
Yet, I can feel their longing, their advent-anticipation and ecperince the completeness now on the other side of the manger, death and resurrection. Oh, how now I experience part of the believers of Old longing’s and how He rules my heart and my dark kingdom thoughts now with his princely peace, peace.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
And yet, I am still in Advent, I am still waiting I am remembering through learning about this season. See, here is where I was only briefly understanding one side of advent, one half of the timeline, looking to the past of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Oh, we are still in advent, waiting for the prophesied and promised second advent, the Second Coming of Christ. How beautiful this is! I too can and am experiencing the believers’ of Old hope, their longing, their listener’s hearts of the Old prophet’s Scriptures and can humbly pray and meditate in the same way as them still.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.
Oh yes, I cannot wait to experience not only the peace I have inside my soul but in communion and complete consumation with the world ruled by everlasting peace, His peace. Oh yes, I am in advent of that day.
And it hits me: every day I am to be in advent and not just in this Christmas holiday season. Yes, I am to be reflective and thankful for his first coming as a child who grew to be the suffering servant on the cross is just one half of this advent-attitude. I am to be advent-awaiting for his second, advent-anticipation of His complete restoration of His world, His people and my soul. Everyday I can experience the joy of advent-anticipation in hopeful praise, looking back at the fulfillment of his promises for child of hope and looking forward now to the completion of the second and final reign.
He is coming, returing!
This is my advent: not the calendars, candles or colors, but the discipline of being alert, expectant, meditating on His prophesies-promises of return for He has told us it is so, and He is coming.
He is coming, returning!