It’s just a few days before Christmas and I wanted to share with you all something that I have learned over the last week. To be honest, I have not really thought a great deal about the season leading up to Christmas, the Advent season. Even though the church I attend talks about it every year and has talked about it my entire life, I can’t say I honestly gave it a great deal of thought. That is until this week.
The name “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming.” I was reminded of that at a worship service my wife and I attended this past weekend. Starting four weeks ahead, we look to the coming of our Savior, whose birth we celebrate at the end of December. So we are talking about the people and events that pointed to His arrival like Elizabeth, Mary, the rising star and the wise men, the angelic choir and the shepherds, and much of the book of Isaiah. It is the way the Bible pointed to Christ’s birth and called it out to the world. If you have spent any time at all attending church this is probably not news to you.
But then this pastor started talking about a different Advent, a broader one, one I will call the Advent Generation, and something changed; something new began to dawn on me. While the Advent most of us think about refers to getting ready for Christmas, it doesn’t only refer to a marvelous, past event. Advent also refers to something that hasn’t happened yet, something still in our future. Advent isn’t just 4 weeks long; it’s over 2000 years long. Christmas isn’t just about His arrival in a manger; Christmas is also about His promised return. We are looking forward to Christ coming back and so we are in an Advent that spans lifetimes. Advent suddenly became real to me, a season that I was actually living in, not just a season looking forward to a past event.
Christ was born, was raised, lived, died, was raised again, and now sits in Heaven at God’s side. He has also chosen to live in us and work through us, His people, to point not only back to His life and death on earth, but ahead to His coming return. Have we grasped the season we have been place into? Are we pointing the world not just back to Christ’s life and death but also ahead to Him coming back? Are we engaging this life-long season?
Christ’s return is approaching. He is on the way. Point people to it; tell them about it. This is our season of Advent every day until that return. This is the Advent Generation.
Kurt Koster 12/22/16