Advent, the time of expectant waiting and hopeful preparation for both the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and his Second Coming in the future.
I’ve always done Advent with my family, but I don’t think I’ve ever really internalized the message or meditated on the meaning before. As I begin that process this year, I want to share the depth of the season with all of you by studying the meaning of each of the candles as each week passes and we approach Christmas.
So, as I’m sure you could tell by the title, the first week is hope.
Hope is mentioned so much in the Bible it can be easy to become desensitized to the word and the meaning behind it, so take a moment to look at the word with fresh eyes and ears.
HOPE. The source of motivation, purpose, joy, and our future. Hope is what gives us any reason to go on in a world that would otherwise have no future with any kind of substantive goal, much less the perfect, wholly good goal and the eternal prize that is promised to us. And the fulfillment of this hope begins right here in Advent with the anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior, co-heir, and Friend.
Hope isn’t just in what was (His birth, death, and resurrection that atoned for our sins), what is (His continuing mercy to offer this salvation as a free gift along with his abounding grace that pours out His Spirit on those who believe), but also in what is yet to come.
He is coming again. Praise God!
Christ will return for His followers, get this, literally any second now. If that doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will. When I think on this truth my heart races, my stomach gets butterflies, and I am just so full of elation that I could jump for joy from now until whenever that wonderful day comes.
Advent is not just a time to prepare our hearts with ready celebration for the birth of Christ and the beginning of His humiliation (another word for His descent to live among us on Earth, His 100% man part of His human body, His persecution, and His death on the cross among other things) but also to cultivate that same watchful, giddy anticipation for the next part of His exaltation (this one is another word for His resurrection, ascension, place at the right hand of God, return and reign, etc.).
So as the first week of Advent begins, think about the hope that we have is what was, what is, and what is yet to come. And, as is the goal for the entirety of our lives, glorify God in it.