Advent is…

…coming upon us

Songs declare it is the most wonderful time of year, department stores and shopping malls make their quotas and go into the black (in most cases), a rotund jolly man in a red suit hangs out in malls receiving the wishes from children about their Christmas dreams. Yet somehow none of these things capture what is really “coming upon us.”

The Advent season is both the celebration of Christ’s first coming and the anticipation of His second coming. Throughout the narrative of redemptive history we see things pointing to Christ’s incarnation. Some of the scenes in the narrative point to different parts of the Incarnation, but all are about how significant the Incarnation is to redemptive history. This is such a significant part of the Advent season, because the incarnation is God among us redeeming from within. Christ speaks from with in culture redeeming the different forms of worship that have been captured by legalism, fear and heartlessness.

As I read a selection of readings through out Advent I am reminded how beautiful the and humbling Christ’s coming is. Some readings point to the greatness of his power, while others point to the incredible meekness of the suffering servant.

What we learn about the incarnation as expressed through Advent is that Christ is enough, and Christ alone satisfies our desires. No amount of shopping, rotund jolly men wearing red suits, or songs can bring us true joy. The joy experienced often wears off quickly as the next few weeks roll around. This highlights the other part of Advent that is so powerful, Christ’s second coming.

Our deliverer is coming and there is great hope, joy and anticipation is that. We don’t have to live under the confines of fear, anxiety or sorrow. We can live differently, we can live a life that not only is full and life giving, but that magnifies a certain excitement for what’s to come.

So as we consider the season we are in, I believe it important to count what is significant about life, and hold loosely to those things that aren’t. We can enjoy the things that make up Christmas for us culturally, but we have to reclaim purpose and excitement that birthed the season for us in the first place. The Gospel is the good news that this life has purpose, and without the Incarnation and the hope of His second coming there is not a whole lot of good news in the Gospel to give us purpose.

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