Advent formally begins this year on Sunday, December 1.
The church to which my wife and I belong does not formally celebrate Advent; it’s not explicitly in the bible. That might be why certain churches don’t recognize this formerly. I’m cool with that.
But I have been reading about what certain churches do to recognize Advent and I’ve been trying to understand better the whole basis or Advent. I found this definition Wikipedia – I’m not sure this is the best resource for my research, but I really dig the definition – the “expectant waiting and preparation” for Jesus’ birth.
As a father, I recall when we were expecting our first child to be born. We told other people the good news that we were adding to our little family. We set up a place in our home, a nursery in a bedroom, to serve as our new arrival’s dwelling place. Lots of shopping took place, baby showers were thrown, books read, classed taken all in preparation of becoming parents. The anticipation was almost too much to bear at times. Our expectant waiting was filled with the aforementioned activities, seemingly not wasting a moment, because we knew how critical our preparation was to be. We weren’t really sure we were completely ready, even when the day came for our child to be born, but we had put much effort and time into our preparation. We could hardly wait.
I have wondered what parallels there might be in this with our preparation for the coming of the King of Kings?
Advent can be a time of getting fired up about Jesus being in our lives and living like he’s coming next week…or tomorrow. How different would you live if you knew Jesus was returning next week? Would you really hustle to take care of things? Make amends to those you’ve harmed in the past, forgive those who’ve harmed you and serve those who are the “least of these” every chance you’d get? Would you sleep at all the night before Jesus returns, knowing its tomorrow?
I realize that you might think it would be hard to live like this every day without the actual knowledge of the timing of his return. But making a move forward on one of these during this season?
- Forgive one person who doesn’t deserve it. Why? Because Jesus did this for you
- Release the resentment you’re holding over someone else (they probably don’t know about it or care anyway) – let it go
- Tell one person about Jesus. Just tell them how your life has been profoundly changed for the better since you start following him and his teachings.
- Serve the poor and needy. Pick out one thing to do in sacrificial service this holiday season
Consider making this Advent season a springboard for living a life of expectant waiting and preparation for his kingdom to come.