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Advent celebrates the coming of Jesus. It is a looking forward. It is a time of preparation. Think of the preparation that Mary was in, as she traveled to Bethlehem. It is like the way we prepare for marriage (the waiting is a time of engagement); it is like we prepare for company coming over (we put things in order…we ready our hearts and our home). Whether we prepare for change or not, it comes.
Jesus came to a people who were awaiting Him—they had been looking for Him for centuries—but were not prepared to meet Him. God’s people missed His arrival, dodged His impact. And daily Jesus is still at work fulfilling the Promises God made to His people. Daily, whether or or not we are prepared for Him to do so, Jesus comes. Advent is the practice of making ourselves ready to receive the gift of Jesus, a gift we have available to us every day. Advent revisits the looking forward to the birth of our Savior and sets the stage for His second coming.
Our culture has replaced this season of waiting with a season of shopping. Instead of awaiting the Savior, shoppers count down days in an ever spiraling crescendo of consumption. We get our fill of eating, drinking, being merry, shopping, and exchanging gifts and gift cards under the lighted tree.
Jesus said, “I AM the Bread of Life,” (John 6:35), and He promised to give Living Water to all who would drink it (John 4:14). He also said, “I AM the Light of the World” (John 8:12). Jesus has what we need this busy season: He came to bring us peace (John 16:33) and the potential for a life of abundance (John 10:10). Most of all He came so that we might have peace with God (Acts 10:36). Observing Advent is meant to slow us down so we can see that He is all the gift we need.
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