“She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
As I look out my window and write this I can’t help but have the words of a favorite Christmas song come to mind, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” The snowflakes are falling and it seems like every time I venture outside I see more and more reminders of the coming holiday. But as much as I might enjoy some of those Christmas traditions I was also reminded that we aren’t in the business of only celebrating one day during the month of December.
An article from UMC.org reminded me that before we get to Christmas we have the season of Advent. And from that article we are reminded:
The season of Advent, which comes comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians.
During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.
Christmas Eve service is among my favorite services I get to be a part of each year, but I also want to challenge myself and all of you to not jump ahead too fast this Advent season. Take time during this season to live in that time of anticipation, to prepare for the coming of Christ. For as the article reminds, we are called not just to look back at His birth, but also to look forward to the promised return.
I hope you will join me this Advent season in celebrating this time of anticipation and preparation. That we can be reminded of the Hope, Love, Joy and Peace that this season brings because of the birth of that child so long ago.
Merry Christmas and God Bless,