The family had just finished decorating the Christmas tree. With the house lights off and the tree lights on, little Emma and Zach danced around the tree singing, “I can’t wait for Christmas. When will it be Christmas? I want Christmas.”
Children do not like to wait. They want to jump straight to Christmas. Truth be told we adults may feel the same way. Why wait? Why repent? Why Advent? They seem like outdated ideas in our cyber world. Let’s jump straight to the good stuff—gifts, parties, celebration.
Why Advent? Maybe it is because Advent is a time of truth-telling. During Advent we name the darkness, longing, and brokenness in the world. We lean into the painful reality that God’s dream of harmony and welcome is not yet realized. (Romans 15:4-14) We recognize our own need to turn around (repent) from the many things which pull us away from relationships with others and God. (Matt 3:1-12) We know that we should slow down. We know our priorities get mixed up. We know that we worry and are fearful.
Advent helps us see how much we need a Savior. We need Jesus’ light to drive away the darkness. We need the hope found in Isaiah 11:1-10—a shoot of new life growing from an old dead tree stump. We need the promise of a day when enemies unite–wolves and lambs lying together.
Advent makes it clear that Jesus did not come to a perfect, spotless, shiny world. Our Savior comes to THIS world exactly like it is. Our Savior comes to our hearts and lives exactly like they are. Then touched by the light, hope, and peace Jesus brings, we pass them on.
I end today with this song by children’s choir. It is a prayer for the Savior to come quickly. I invite you to pray along with them as you listen:
Want to learn more? Check out Advent in 2 minutes at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S02KOlw7dlA