Today is the first Sunday of Advent.
Advent simply means “arrival.” It is the season to celebrate and reflect on God’s breaking into His creation in the form of a human life approximately 2,020 years ago.
This is the first season of the Christian Church year, leading up to Christmas and including the preceding four Sundays.
During Advent, we reflect upon, meditate upon, even work at what it means to be watchful. To be hopeful and watchful. To be ready for Christ’s coming, His advent, the most important and significant event in our human history.
Passages in Scripture that have been misappropriated or misused for Christ’s second coming actually much more likely point to Jesus’s vindication at the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (more on that another day). Quite important for us to keep in mind is being ready for Christ’s little advents everyday throughout each day. Christ’s coming like a thief in the night, or even His standing at the door knocking are His unexpected anytime moments of calling on us for service, worship, listening, or changing.
We Christians do believe Christ will return as King, but many over the decades have abused passages to the provocation of a response by some with the bumper sticker, “Jesus is coming, hide the bong.” That’s what it sadly turns into. But (hopefully) it’s much deeper than that. It’s to always be at the ready for Christ’s calling upon you. He may very well tell you to put the bong away, I don’t know. But I do know, and have experienced, many times the beautiful call to His work of listening to someone, to sending a message of encouragement, to stop reading and just listen to Him, to stop staring…
Growing up very Protestant, I unfortunately missed and misunderstood the season of Advent. It was something “they” did that we don’t do so as not to be confused with “them” over there on the wrong side. And I missed out on the beauty I now appreciate greatly of the Christian calendar. We are not of this world, we are of God’s kingdom. Therefore, isn’t it right to base our seasons upon the true Center of the universe Jesus Christ, and not on ourselves?