Luke 3:15 – The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. (NIV)
I wonder what would happen if we were to celebrate Advent every day. Most of us think about Advent when we see the candles being lit in church on Sunday mornings. Some of us even think that Advent is the season when we await the baby Jesus being born amongst us.
But Advent is much more than candles and cribs. It's not about nostalgically looking backwards; it's all about expectantly looking forwards.
"Looking forward to what?" I can hear some of you say. Looking forward to that wonderful day when Christ will return to the Earth in all of His glory, majesty, and power. You see, Advent is not about Christmastime; it's about the end of Time.
We spend so much of the Yuletide holidays singing carols, buying gifts, and wrapping presents, that we've forgotten to wait expectantly for Jesus. Don't get me wrong, I love all the lights and decorations, glitters and garlands, Christmas trees and cards, but they don't reflect what this important church season is all about.
I often wish that someone would produce Advent cards with a picture of Christ's Second Coming and these words inside: "Are you ready for Christ to return?" Instead, we will all send and receive ho-ho-ho Santa cards, or ones pictured with snow-covered churches and sparkling fir trees, which sadly lead our thoughts away from the coming Messiah and back to the commercialized manger.
So, I guess today's challenge is this: are you getting ready for Christmas or Advent?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we have largely forgotten what Advent represents. We busy ourselves with Christmas, instead of taking time to remember that You are coming again to completely reconcile Creation, to bring an end to Time, and to judge the Earth. Keep us mindful of Your return, and help us to wait expectantly each day. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.