Why I Love Celebrating Advent

I love Advent. Deeply. Many Christians skip right over it or don't pay much attention in these weeks leading up to Christmas, but not me. I look forward to Advent all year long, and it always seems to come right in perfect timing for my soul.

Advent means "arrival." It's a season of waiting, of longing, of looking forward to what we know is coming with hope and expectation.

It's such a sweet season. It's re-focusing, re-centering. When all around me, people are hustling and bustling and shopping, I just want to be still. When the noise and the lights and all of it just gets too loud, I want to think back on that holy, silent night. I want to not only listen to Christmas music this time of year, but read and re-read the Christmas story in Scripture.

I love the slowing down. I love that Advent is four weeks. It's not just one jolly day, but four slow weeks of journeying toward the night our Savior was born, knowing we can't rush it or make it come any quicker.

I love imagining I'm in the skin of the different characters in this story. What would it be like to be that shepherd dead asleep on a hard patch of grass surrounded by woolly sheep, and to be awoken suddenly by angels? What would it be like to be a single teenage girl who just found out she's miraculously, impossibly, insanely now pregnant with a baby who is God's son? What would it be like to be the man risking shame and cultural backlash because he's engaged to her but not yet her husband?

I love reading back in the Old Testament and seeing how this miraculous birth was foretold from the beginning. I love seeing the huge sweep of the story across Scripture.

I love learning how to wait well. It hasn't been the easiest season of my life, and I've found myself doing a lot of waiting in the darkness. Advent feels appropriate for seasons like that. The world can often feel dark and hopeless and out of control, but these few weeks, I'm reminded that even when that's true, the light still shines and Christ is still coming and there is hope still to be had.

I love that Advent isn't about other people, or about parties or gatherings. I'm not just saying that because I'm an introvert-- I truly love that this season is a deeply personal and individual one. While we gather in church and talk about Advent, the day-to-day work of this time of year is all my own. Each morning when I don't even want to be awake, but I crack open my Advent devotional guide, I'm grateful that this season is one where I can draw nearer to the Lord and learn more about my own heart in the process, too.

I love that this season culminates in the birth of Jesus Christ. Births are so miraculous and fascinating to me-- this baby grows for nine months out of sight, and then there's a hard and painful labor, and then they're a living, breathing human existing in the real world. It's amazing. It's even more amazing to me that Jesus went through that same process just like each of us did. He didn't just descend from the heavens as a fully grown, angelic man, but was as innocent, vulnerable, weak, and needy as every other baby ever.

I love that this season feels like a journey. It takes time, it takes lots of different pieces coming together, it takes patience. I love that it feels meaningful every day that we move closer to Christmas.

I love the anticipation. I love the expectation. I love knowing with confidence that my waiting is not for nothing, but that Christ has already come, and we get to celebrate that coming again. I love resting assured that Jesus is alive, that He is near, that He is fully God and fully man in all the best ways.

I love this Advent season.

This year, like many others before, I'll be slowing down to savor every day of it, and I encourage you to do the same.

Our King is coming.