ADVENT PREPARES US FOR CHIRSTMAS
The season of Advent is here! It is one of my favorite times of the year! My other favorite time of the year is Easter! I love Advent because it is the season of Preparation!
For our Jewish friends, they celebrate Chanukah. Reflecting on the purpose of Chanukah, and how the ancient Israelites prepared the temple for worship, purifying and restoring the temple and all the adornments, and lighting the lamps with an extremely limited amount of oil; there was only enough for 8-hours of light. However, God multiplied that oil to last for the entire time, if I recall correctly, the festival lasted for 8-days (2 Maccabees 10:1-8, my paraphrasing).
Recalling a presentation by my friend Dr. Al Reichman a few years ago, the practice of the festival of Chanukah provides a gift each day for each person. Somewhat different from our Christmas traditions.
Regardless of which tradition we choose to follow, Advent and Chanukah are times of preparation. Preparation for worship and preparation to receive the Christ child. I recall a devotional that addresses the very subject of Advent preparing us for Christmas.
Excerpt from “The Expected One,” by Scott James;
@ 2014; B & H Publishing Group
This shout of anticipation is the heart of Advent, the time of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
The weeks leading up to Christmas Day are a special time of reflection on God’s gift to us: the child Jesus.
Rejoicing in Jesus’ birth certainly brings glory to God, but sometimes we can forget that God didn’t just send a child into the world; He sent a mighty Rescuer! The image of the Child in the manger should fill our hearts with praise because we know what that Child would grow up to accomplish—He would save His people from their sins.
This story is not just for those of us who live after Jesus’ time, though. The people of God have always known what Jesus’ mission would be. How did they know about this divine rescue plan before Jesus actually came?
Because God promised the whole plan to them, and every single part of it was designed to become true in Jesus.
No, God didn’t just promise His people that a miracle child would be born. He also promised that this Child would grow up to be the loving Shepherd of His people, the place-switching Sacrifice, the resurrected Lord, and the righteous King who reigns in glory forever. But there is yet another promise: this King is coming back for His people!
As we celebrate the first coming of the Expected One during Advent, let’s also look forward in hopeful anticipation of His second coming. Let’s keep in mind the whole picture of who Jesus is, worshipping Him as the fulfillment of all of God’s promises to us, “For every one of God’s promises is ‘Yes’ in Him” (2 Cor. 1:20 HCSB).
My prayer for each of you is that you would not just prepare to celebrate His birth once again; rather that you would prepare to celebrate His Coming Again, whenever that may occur! May this be Your BEST Christmas ever!
In the Fullness of Christ,