As a child, waiting for Christmas morning was tough. I thought the anticipation to open presents would kill me. It seemed someone was holding back time during the month of December. As an adult, my anticipation has not changed but the reason for it has.
I now anticipate being with extended family. Most of them are only two hours away, but with my busy schedule I rarely get to see them. But everybody knows around Christmas time, we’ll visit and catch up. I also practice another form of anticipation, called Advent. The word means "coming" or "arrival." It is easy to forget in the middle of shopping, sending Christmas cards, and preparing for family to visit that Jesus is the reason for the season. Celebrating Advent is a way to keep my focus.
The focus of the entire Christmas season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent, or second coming. So, celebrating Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000-year-old event in history.
Advent is a time for us to look for signs of hope in our world. Through media, we are bombarded by a narrative concerning what’s wrong. Let’s interrupt that way of thinking and look for signs of God's love breaking into our everyday existence. Reflect on what it means to live out of the very reign of God.
Advent is about rejoicing in a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ. It’s understanding that all of creation will one day be reconciled. That is a process in which we now participate, and while we consume everything from cake to cars, we should make sure to reflect on the joy of the second coming.
Advent also represents our personal spiritual journey, as we confirm that Christ has come, that He is present in the world today, and that He will come again in power. That confession provides the basis for Kingdom living, for being faithful to what is entrusted to us as God’s people. Let’s celebrate God’s breaking into history through the birth of his son, and anticipate a family reunion with our Lord for which the Bible says, “all creation is groaning awaiting its redemption.” I invite you to use our online TUMI Annual to celebrate the season.