I have a confession to make.
I don’t know that much about Advent. I know Christmas well, we have been friends for 24 years this coming December 25th, but I don’t know much about Advent.
So, I did what any normal American would do: I went to WikiPedia. I learned a lot about wreaths and Advent calendars and burning bushes, but not much about the actual meaning of Advent.
So I did the next best thing: I started listening to The Village Church series on Advent (2011 version). So far we are only two sermons in, but I have learned so much through these teachings. So that I don’t have to go into much detail here, I would strongly recommend this series.
What I learned has changed my outlook on the season tremendously. The Old Testament Israelites were looking for their King to come out of the tribe of Judah. They expected a great man to come out of the shadows and pull them up from their graves and reign in eternity. These people had waited thousands of years since the promise was made to Abraham and Jacob for their King, their Savior, to come rescue them. David, Soloman, there had to be a hundred men rise up that made the people gasp, wondering if this was the One. But each time their hope ended in despair. Each time that man was not their Messiah, and they would get angry, or hurt, or sad, and cry out to God, “How long must we wait?!?!”
And then, on a cold December night (it probably wasn’t December) a baby was born. The stars changed and men traveled to see this baby, born in a barn, to a poor woman and her carpenter husband/boyfriend/fiancee, and few knew that this was the King they had been waiting for.
I find myself hoping the same things.
I have seen tsunamis, earthquakes, and friends dying on this earth. Each time I find myself gasping and crying out to God “Is this it?? Are you finally coming back??” And each time my hope ends in despair, and I cry out, “When?? How long are You going to let this happen??”
I don’t know when Christ will come back. I do know that when He finally does, all our hope will be fulfilled.
And that, I think, is what Advent is all about.
What does this season mean to you? What are your thoughts on Advent?