This is week 4 of 4 of our Advent blog. We are unpacking the meaning and significance of Advent.
This is my fourth and final post on Advent 2017 and I thought I would end it the same way I began. I mentioned in my first post, that many Christians crusade against the War on Christmas, but then neglect the celebration of Advent. I suggested we take time to slow down and prepare our hearts so that we can truly celebrate Christmas.
I don’t know about you, but one day of Christmas is just not enough. I don’t mean I want more parties, gifts, and food. I mean, I want more of Jesus! Amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, Advent allows me to do just that.
Imagine being at your favorite vacation destination, perhaps it is Disney World, the Swiss Alps, Venice Italy, or Cleveland. (I am joking about Cleveland.) You are having the time of your life. It is great! Now back up a little. Imagine the hours, days, and weeks leading up to it. There is a growing excitement as you anticipate the great time you hope to have. I may be alone in this, but I enjoy the preparation and anticipation of my time away almost as much as the time away, less the packing!
My point is this. Christmas is the destination. Advent is the journey. Christmas is an event. Advent is the preparation for it. Christmas is one day. Advent is 4 weeks long! Without Advent, the true meaning of Christmas can easily be lost. Advent allows us time to reflect and prepare our hearts for Christmas as a holy day, not just a holiday.
There is so much more I could say, but I will simply conclude with the words to the Advent Hymn, “Come, Thou long expected Jesus.” It seems a fitting way to end.
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee
Israel’s strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every longing heart
Born Thy people to deliver
Born a child and yet a king
Born to reign in us forever
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By Thine own sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne
Merry Christmas Everyone!