This week we entered the season of Advent. This is a time that represents a season of expectant waiting and preparation leading up to Christmas and the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
But sometimes … it can feel more like chaos and busyness in the midst of ache and dread.
If you look at the Latin root, adventus, it refers to an invasion, a ripening, and appearance.
It’s not always physical, as in the case of Jesus’ birth. It can also be an arrival of something to one’s mind or soul. An invasion of hope when life feels uncertain. A rising of light within a dark season. A settling in of promise and truth in the midst of longing.
And this season of hope … of Advent … is meant for everyone.
If the waiting and anticipation of Christmas and Jesus’ arrival fills you with delight and joy … Advent is for you.
If Christmas cheer and the festivities of the season bring more anxiety and busyness than fun and rest, take heart … Advent is for you.
If something in your past has stolen some of the joy of Christmas, lean in to the coming of hope. Advent is for you.
For those who come every Sunday eager and open and ready or for those who arrive cautiously bearing pain, loss, and grief too fresh or too deep … Advent is for you.
It is for everyone.
Advent brings an arrival of hope to the persistent longing we all carry.
It is visual a lit candle … reminding us of the promise once made that a Savior would come … to heal, to rescue and to love … all of us.
Isaiah 2:1-5 reads:
In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.
Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
Come, descendants of Jacob,
let us walk in the light of the Lord.