by Hannah White
If you were raised in a Protestant home, like I was, you probably have a limited understanding of Advent. As a kid, advent described nothing more than the calendar hanging in our entryway. Once December 1st hit, we moved the little, stuffed mouse each day in anticipation for Christmas. Our Advent calendar was nothing more than a countdown to the BIG day.
Over the years, I have gained a greater understanding of the beauty of Advent: both in word and practice.
Like someone panning for gold, we can run our Christmas traditions through the sifting pan that is the narrative of Jesus, allowing the thin layer of commercialism to fall away. The pillars of Advent are the golden nuggets left glistening in our hands.
The time just before Christmas is Advent, meaning a season of preparation for Christmas. In preparing, we are to hold tight to that which the season is meant to celebrate: the first “advent” of Christ in Bethlehem, and His anticipated subsequent “advent” yet to come. Often highlighted in the four Sundays of Advent are hope, peace, joy, and love.
When the word advent is used as a noun, it simply means the arrival of a notable person, thing or event. What more precious event can we describe as notable than the arrival of our Savior?! But when we celebrate advent, using the word as an adjective to describe the time of year, the splendor of the season truly comes alive. Although the specifics of Advent aren’t outlined in scripture, the basic principles are woven throughout. Regardless of if you are a Christ follower that celebrates Christmas time, or a Christian that considers December the Advent season, this time of year should encourage all of us to prepare for the celebration, remind us of our desperation, and fill us with great anticipation for the return of our King!
CELEBRATION of the King
Throughout December, celebrate the hope, peace, joy, and love that we have because of the Savior who came to this earth on that night in Bethlehem.
Luke 2:10-11 & 14 :: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”… “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
DESPERATION for the King
The Jews were desperate for a Savior. When Jesus came to the earth, they assumed they were getting a political savior, but He was so much more! God knew that, 2,000 years later, His people would still need the freedom that Jesus would bring. Outside of Him, there is no true salvation.
Psalm 62:5-7 :: For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
ANTICIPATION of the King’s return
In this season, let our hearts be overwhelmed with the joy that is to come. While we celebrate all that God has done, and we’re desperate for all He is still doing, let us not forget that the story is not finished! For those of us who know Him, we must live with anticipation. As we prepare our hearts, it is our job to share with those around us. If we are truly filled with celebration, desperation, and anticipation it will be reflected in our world when we hear those that we love say, “come, Lord Jesus!”
Revelation 22: 7 & 20 :: “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
After 10+ years of serving in various rolls of ministry, Hannah and her husband Bill began their journey to plant a church in March of this year. Village Heights will launch in the inner-loop of Houston this fall! Hannah loves Jesus, loves Bill, loves Gaige (their adorable, 2.5 year old son)… after that, a strong cup of coffee and the city of Houston are in a close race for 4th place.