“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20)
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, which begins a period of four weeks before Christmas when we wait in expectation for the glory of the Savior Jesus Christ to be manifest to the world and into our hearts. As the worship coordinator of my church, today I’ve done something I’ve never done before – I led an Advent celebration in my church. If you don’t know what Advent is, I hope you can take this time to know it and use these four weeks to prepare your heart for the coming of the Lord.
I could have written a lot of things about Advent, but I found that Robert Webber said it best in his book “Blended Worship,” so I will just quote him here:
The visual manifestation of the coming of Christ is a significant part of Advent. It shifts the tone of the season before Christmas away from the crass secular materialism of our age and calls us to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Advent helps us keep looking ahead to the birth of the one who will go to the cross and then emerge from the tomb to resurrect us and this world to a newness of life.
For our spiritual health, Advent should be a time of waiting, a time of preparing for God to break into our lives with transforming power. Advent means od comes,?but some Christmas do not even feel the need for God. Their lives are ogether.?They do not face sickness, hunger, oppression, or loss. All is going well ?or at least seems to be. These people have become desensitized to their own situation and to the pains and struggles of most people in the world. Advent is a time when the church, through the themes of the season, can help these Christians get in touch with a sense of the very real need in their own lives ?and in the life of the world ?for an in-breaking of God. Those who suffer from financial difficulties, the failure of a marriage, or a life-threatening disease, and those who live in perpetual hunger or oppression and already longing for God to break into their lives will find that Advent worship clarifies their longing and articulates their hope.
Come, Lord Jesus, and make us hungry until we truly seek and see Your face.
How do you prepare for Christmas?