Advent seems to be stalking me a bit this year. The word is not unfamiliar to me; when I was in children’s worship as a first or second grader we would talk about the church calendar, and change the colors of certain things in the room to correspond to the season we were in. I saw Advent wreaths, with the candles representing different things, and the word cropped up in church.
But I never really GOT Advent. I’m still not sure I completely do, but I think I’m learning. I always figured Advent was just what I usually referred to as “the Christmas season”–that time in between Thanksgiving and Christmas when the tree is up, lights adorn the house, and malls are overcrowded. It shouldn’t be lumped in with that thought though. Advent has its own worth and beauty separate from its attachment to Christmas.
Because Advent is about looking forward. It’s about longing, anticipation, yearning. Much like the way little kids can hardly contain their excitement about opening presents, that’s how we’re supposed to be. Our anticipation is not in vain, because we know that when December 25 rolls around, we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
This is the part of Advent I think I had been missing though: the waiting doesn’t end on Christmas. The eager anticipation of that day is a taste of what I should be anticipating each and every day as I wait for Christ to come again.
I never got that before. I still don’t completely get it. What happened in a stable as foreshadowing of who will come again. It’s like this important link that makes everything click, that just never really clicked before. It seems so simple now, so obvious. And it’s not that I had never heard this before, of course, but I feel like this year I’ve been hearing it everywhere. So many times that it’s finally, a little bit, beginning to sink in.
What we already have, but not yet in full.
Til next time…
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