Welcome to Advent! The term is from the Latin word meaning "the coming, or arrival." It is a season of holy anticipation and disciplined waiting. It’s a waiting not characterized by counting-down-the-days until Christmas. Advent is more of a contented peace while listening with prophetic hope for the nativity of Jesus.
Perhaps more than any other season in the Christian calendar, Advent acknowledges the already-and-not-yet mystery of the Kingdom of God. In remembering the anticipation of Christ’s first coming, we acknowledge and cultivate our anticipation of His second coming.
Advent is the season where a Great Light was shown, but there is still so much darkness needing to be removed, so much gloom to overcome; and this is where WE come in. The opportunity before the followers and disciples of Jesus is to let our light shine in such a way that everyone may see our good works, and glorify our Father in heaven. [MTT 5:16] We can do this by engaging the true celebration of Christmas: The coming of the anointed One, the One promised and set apart to rescue us; Jesus the Christ/Messiah!
Advent could also be a season of surprises; of God showing up when and where He is least expected. He is Immanuel (God with us): in a womb, in a barn, as a poor minority in an oppressive empire; but also at the soup kitchen, at that church service we resisted attending, in that family member we disagree with, in the neighbor across the way, in every corner of this world from Santa Clarita, to Tennessee, to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to our kitchen table. Advent is a season for us to slow down, pay attention, and listen to the prophetic encouragement to look for God, as He disguises Himself in the everyday situations all around us. He is still fulfilling His promises in ways unimagined.
This week I’m launching an Advent series called #SacredSeason | More than a red cup. The theme is “preparing the way" as we learn to pay attention to the signs all around us that Jesus is coming! The focus will be on the prophetic witness that preceded the first Advent and that still calls out today. I hope you will join us as we keep the season sacred!