What is advent? It is simply defined the coming of a notable person. In Christianity, it is the nativity of Christ Jesus that religious groups recognize, actually the season up to the nativity. There are different ways that people celebrate advent, and there are many Christians who do not recognize the season at all. If you honor the season, it is a good thing, if you do not, it is not a bad thing. What I want to do is recognize the event, but not traditionally this year. This "coming" is THE coming of the promise foretold throughout the Old Testament of the One who would banish our sins and reconcile us to the Almighty God through His shed blood...all of this prophesied centuries before.
If this is true, if this actually happened in history, why are we so quiet about it? Shhhh the neighbors are Muslims, or atheists, or Taoists, do you have to type about it so loudly? I am talking about a God that loves me even though I snubbed my nose at Him in rebellion, and thought why would I serve you the way you treat us? He only created a possible trillion galaxies, and knows each star by name. He only created the human being with who knows how many cells man contains, and each one of these invisible boogers has 66,000 moving parts in it. Yet He cares enough for man that He gave His best, taking on human flesh, and tempted as we are so none of us can say to Him, you don't understand us...He became us. He lived and died like us, was resurrected as we will be as we believe on Him. We must celebrate advent, in thanksgiving, in praise, in gratitude, and in recognition that we created in beauty, the Imago Dei, the image of God.
As I gave thought to this post tonight, I was in a recovery meeting with a man from Yugoslavia, whose father was killed during that conflict, as well as other close relatives. His mother was raped, home was destroyed, everything that he held dear ripped away, and only a memory. His gloom remains to this day. He came to America, thrilled to finally have a chance to improve his life. His life did improve, he began to have possessions, and in fact things became so much better that he drank to celebrate. He celebrated so much, that celebrating possessed him, and he became an alcoholic. His life here was no longer worth celebrating. He is now clean and sober, but stuck in the past. I began to see similarities between the two of us. I can take the same approach regarding my past life of alcoholism and the loss of possessions, friends, and what could have been, or I can take a different approach and see the advent, the glorious arrival.
"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?" Ps.8:4
"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are Your works." Ps.139:14
"And the Word became flesh and dwelled among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14
I want this year's recognition of advent to be different this year. I want to have a total realization of how marvelously mysterious the working of The Holy Lord is. How wonderful His love and grace toward man to send His very own son to give His life's blood for a being He created that ignores Him. What kind of love is this? I cannot comprehend it, but I am drawn to it. I want to speak faith, and joy, and in hope of advent arriving in my heart each day through this season, and in honor of His sacrifice in leaving the splendor of heaven to dwell among the fallen. I do not want to dishonor Him speaking negatively and how awful times are, what I don't have...when He owns it all. And I want to live inspired, putting positive things in my mind, watching "It's a Wonderful Life," and living one too. Above all, I want to take C.H. Spurgeon's advice, and wash my face in praise each day, praising Him daily, throughout the day, throughout the season. A new way of viewing advent.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!