Why Advent? Waiting for, and remembering glory.

The four weeks leading up to Christmas day are traditionally called Advent.  Why should Christians recognize this time as significant?  What should we contemplate during these days?  And why on earth is it important for us.

"Nativity at Night" by Geertgen tot Sint Jans (1490) See the glory coming off that Baby?  Better get sunglasses.

“Nativity at Night” by Geertgen tot Sint Jans (1490)
See the glory coming off that Baby? Better get sunglasses.

Why recognize Advent?  Didn’t Paul warn us about regarding days and seasons?  Well, yeah he did.  And if celebrating Jewish feast days in order to become acceptable to God was what we were doing, we’d have a big problem.  But that is not what Advent is about.  Advent is about waiting.  And it is about remembering.  Not that we can accomplish anything through our religious observance.  But remembering that God has done something for us.  That’s Good News!

What should we contemplate during these days?  We are invited to dwell on the indescribable gift that Jesus is to the world.  God has not left His creation alone – He has come into it.  He has not not rejected human beings – He has become one of us.  We can think about the humility of God, that He would not come “as a giant” like my 4 year old suspected He might.  He came as a Baby.  And when He did He was forever changed.  What He was (God), He remained.  What He was not (human), He took on forever.

Why it this so important to us?  This is the personal part.  Have you seen those malls?  The shopping lineups?  Are you super busy with family, meals, turkeys, and other concerns?  Then you need to remember the truth that has turned the world upside down.  That God has come – and is coming – and that all His glory can be known.  It’s not the glory of a great nation or army.  Not the glory of grand success or victory.  And not the glory that earns the praise of the world.  His glory came as a little Baby, who “put to shame the wise and strong.

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