In the Christian Church we have entered the season of Advent, the four weeks leading to Christmas.
At this time of year, people everywhere are busily preparing for their holiday festivities and traditions with gifts, food, special music, and decorations.
Within the church we see similar activities as our sanctuaries fill with sacred Christmas songs and colorful decorations, but the main preparations are happening within the Christian’s heart.
The word “Advent” means the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. Advent season is a time of waiting and preparing ourselves for that arrival.
The notable thing for which we wait is the joyous celebration of Christ’s birth, a celebration of an event in the past. We prepare our hearts for this celebration by reading about Christ’s birth and life from the Bible. Focusing on how His life changed the world, and changed our own lives, gives meaning to our celebrations beyond outward holiday displays.
The notable person for whom we wait is Jesus Christ Himself and the event we long for is His return.
For Christians, Advent is a yearly reminder of God’s promise and a time to commit ourselves more deeply to a life focused on the most joyous celebration which is still to come.
9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”Acts 1: 9-11 (NKJV)