Monday, November 28, 2016

Preparing for Advent

The season of Advent is upon us, and it is certainly a time of divided attentions.  It's hard to ignore the lure of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, yet we feel the pull to put it aside and reflect, to wait, and to experience the hopeful anticipation that our Messiah is on His way.  The joy of the Christmas celebration is missed if we neglect to slow down and consider what it is we are celebrating.

We prepare for many things in life; the coming of a new baby, a wedding, exams, even making dinner each night requires preparation.  We are a people who need time to ready ourselves for what is to come.  I think that was an intentional part of our design when our Heavenly Father carefully wove us together.  This same need to prepare follows us into the season of Advent.  This is meant to be a time to set aside the busyness of life to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ.

This celebration is not only for the joy of the coming of Jesus into the world to be salvation for sinners.  While we eagerly look forward to celebrating our Savior's birth, Advent has a dual meaning. We are keenly aware that there is more to the Kingdom of God than this earthly realm.  For followers of Jesus Advent is a time when we wait expectantly for Christ's return.  We are reminded that our present suffering and pain is only temporary, and we have a great hope that one day all will be restored, and Jesus will Himself wipe away every tear from every eye.

It can be so hard to wait. But there is joy knowing that our waiting and persevering is with purpose.  So each day during Advent I encourage you to pause.  Be still.  Enter into God's presence and feel the weight of His love for you.  Allow yourself to be overcome by the magnitude of His grace.  Consider the lengths He has gone to in order to rescue you from sin and give you abundant life.  Rejoice in the truth that though we don't deserve it, God lavishes us with His love and mercy.  If you are a follower of Jesus rest in the knowledge that His death on the cross is sufficient for your salvation.  Let us spend this Advent season praising God for what He has already done and eagerly anticipating that which is yet to come.

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