Welcoming Advent

photo by S. Etole

photo by S. Etole

Advent is here again. Even before December began, yesterday ushered in the beginning of this sweet season of expectation as the first Sunday of Advent.

Your church may be one that has candles on the stage that are lit one by one each week, or your church may never even mention the word "advent," but no matter what, this season is one we can all engage with and one we desperately need.

Advent is defined as the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. Isn't Christmas all of those? A Savior, a manger, a birth.

It's also defined as the first season of the Christian church year-- I love that. The story of our faith began long before, but that silent and holy night when our Savior was born on our earth as a baby is the night when the story becomes tangible, real, human. The church year starts here, with a brand new beginning, a new life of our God in the flesh as an infant.

December has hardly begun and I've already gotten wrapped up in the hurried hustle of the holiday season. Traffic around our malls and shopping centers is horrible. Every commercial urges us to act quick! this offer ends soon! hurry! Black Friday and Cyber Monday and this entire past weekend was a mad rush and a frantic insanity as we tried to score deals and get our shopping done.

It's overwhelming. We just celebrated a day all about giving thanks, yet so quickly we seem to forget all about gratitude as the chaos and consumerism overwhelms us. Now is the time, more than ever, when our souls need advent. We need to slow down, we need to prepare our hearts, we need to wait in anticipation of a notable person, thing, and event. We need this.

This says it beautifully:

So now we pause. Still. Ponder. Hush. Wait. Each day of Advent, He gives you the gift of time, so you have time to be still and wait. Wait for the coming of the God in the manger who makes Himself bread for us near starved. For the Savior in swaddlings who makes Himself the robe of righteousness for us worn out. For Jesus, who makes precisely what none of us can but all of us want: Christmas.
— Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift

Just a few days ago, our stomachs were full from a feast of food, our hearts were full from time spent with friends and family. It seems though, as Thanksgiving ends and the next day rushes us back into the fray, we're still starving. We're in need of something that will sustain and save us from ourselves and our selfishness and our strivings. We're in need of something that will let us be still, let us breathe, let us rest. We're in need of something so much more than this world can give us.

This season is one of invitation-- O come, let us adore Him. Jesus came to us. He made the first move. Now is our opportunity to move, to move into this season, to move inward and forward and toward the glory of that holy night and our glorious Savior.

Join me this advent as we pause, wait, and prepare for the coming of our Savior. Come, let us adore Him.

Ladies-- She Reads Truth has a devotional series for advent called O Come Let Us Adore Him that I am loving. You can find it on their website or on their app!