n. 1. The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important
The Christian church is in the first week of the Advent season. The Western church calendar observes Advent for the four Sundays before Christmas. The period represents the coming or arrival of Christ. Before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there was a spiritual famine in Israel, as the Jews waited for the fulfillment of the prophecies. They believed the Messiah was coming and they prayed anxiously for that day when he would come save them.
That day finally arrived. The Light came into the darkness and salvation was at hand.
But many people missed it. Many lost hope along the way, because God didn’t act on their time table. Other’s missed it because they were too busy fighting wars with one another, looking out for their own wants and desires. Still others missed out because they had lost their first love. They were more interested in loving themselves instead of loving God and their neighbor. Yet others missed it because they were deep in despair. They had lost the joy they once knew and decided it was better just to seek temporary happiness instead.
The church still observes Advent today. We light a candle each week as we recognize the arrival of something, make that someone, extremely important. But we can miss it as well. Perhaps we have lost all hope in life, or we have become too preoccupied with fighting wars and fires, existing with little or no peace in our lives. Some of us have become so self-absorbed that we too have lost our first love. Or maybe you’re one of those who try to be faithful but there’s no joy in your life, only sporadic bouts of fleeting happiness.
I want to encourage you to observe Advent this year, ushering in the Light of the world.
Celebrate the HOPE we have in Christ.
Make PEACE with God and one another.
Experience LOVE in its truest form.
Find the JOY of your Salvation.
Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us; Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, HOPE of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation, JOY of every longing heart.
“I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; …plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with HOPE.” Jeremiah 29:11
For an online Advent Devotional Guide go here:http://www.d365.org/followingthestar/
For another great Advent resource, check out http://adventconspiracy.org/