Advent is the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas and also of preparation for the Second Coming of Christ. Did you catch that it is about more than just Christmas? It is a time of reflection and preparation for the second coming of Christ as well. The hope of Christ does not end with the baby in the manger!
This Advent season, we will be looking at the season a bit differently. With the help of Dr. Dan Boone’s devotional, Joy of Every Longing Heart, we are going to journey through Advent together through the Psalms. We are going to talk about why it is important to lament. Lamenting is not something that the church does much in America. It is important for us to remember that lament is not the opposite of hope – there is hope in lament.
Advent is a season of repentance. We need to prepare for both Christmas and Christ’s second coming by searching our hearts and repenting before God. Repentance is not just a one time thing, but it is something that we are to do continually. No matter how long we’ve been a believer, we are never going to be perfect. We can trust God to be faithful.
Advent is a season for us to remember the source of our joy. The holiday season can bring about a wide range of emotions, but as followers of Christ our joy comes from God alone – not anything or anyone else in this world.
Advent is a season for us to remember that the Prince of Peace was born into the mess of this world. God’s hesed or steadfast love, is so great for us that he not only sent his Son as a baby in a manger, but also promised that Christ would return and restore all things – make all things new. This should give us a sense of peace that passes all understanding. When our focus is on God’s Kingdom, much of the strife and trials of life become more tolerable when we can remember God’s hesed for us.
Let us prepare and reflect on these themes together throughout this season, letting the God of the universe to continue to transform us to be more like Christ.
~ Pastor Todd