We’re parents, practical and realistic. Advent really just means more work for us. Kids have to wear their “nicest” clothes, and we HAVE TO get out of bed for four weeks in a row to make the Sunday morning church services that comprise Advent. Extra shopping, extra cleaning, ironing and less private time for you. Advent season really can be such a huge bother.
On the other hand, it’s an enduring tradition that actually goes back as far as Christmas itself, in fact further. It seems that prophets and holy ones as far back as Ruth,Micah and Isaiah all described the coming of a “Christ” or a savior for mankind, the “Messiah”.
Their prophetic words, written in ancient text’s thousands of years before the actual birth of the one we call Jesus, shows the historic scope and awe around Advent. For thousands of years, millions of people were anxiously awaiting His coming…hopeful for true change.
Not so much today.
We get used to the marketing pageantry and “over-the-top” Christmas services and LED light displays. Advent is well… a bit stale these days…overshadowed by the things we do instead of the reason we do them for.
Advent is as big and meaningful as you want it to be. If life is pretty safe for us right now…well Advent may get kinda pushed back a bit. If life is scaring the bejeepers out of us, Advent might be growing in its importance. How much do we think we need to be visited by the Messiah, that is the Advent question.
Advent really can renew our Hopes if we let it.
Hope that things in our lives can change. And maybe… the promises of Jesus can really come true for us. The promise to forgive us of our failures and to revive our almost dead-end-lives. To give us a future with purpose and a safe path to walk in.
What’s Advent going to mean to you this year?
Is it as simple as taking one more chance to reconcile with your estranged and hormonally imbalanced teenager or lighting up that cooling passion you once used to call your marriage? Is it risking the effort to reconnect with someone who really offended us and has maybe been forced out of our lives prematurely?
How about actually talking with that super annoying person at Church? Maybe taking the extra moment to wave back as you pass by your nosy neighbor. What about forgiving the judgmental-snobby and oh so hypocritical click of popular moms who always seem to see you at your worst and whisper behind your back?
Advent means…Jesus kept his promise. He came. Advent reminds us that not only did He come once, but He promises to keep coming back for each of us. He promises to keep forgiving, to keep loving and to keep saving us from ourselves…
What if we risked more this Christmas. Stretching out just a bit beyond our comfort zone to find ways to touch those who really do need to receive our forgiveness.
To take the risk of loving those who are “unlovely” in our lives and allowing people we hardly know to inconvenience us with their needs. That’s pretty simple and practical stuff, and its a whole lot more meaningful than a maxed out Kohl’s charge card and a month of daily migraines.
Advent is here, let’s think about how we can celebrate it brand new, this year.