“Advent.” The word literally means “coming.” Society often uses the term to describe the coming into being of something new, like the advent of the personal computer or the advent of the microchip. For Christians, “advent” means much more than what it does to the rest of the world. It indicates something sacred, something beautiful that impacts us for eternity. It points to the coming of our Savior, both the first time in His incarnation and the second time when He will return in the clouds.
“Advent” also denotes the season leading up to Christmas in which Christians prepare their hearts to celebrate the birth of Christ. For centuries, believers have used the season to pray and focus their hearts on the wonder and mystery of the incarnation. Some fast, others engage in specific Bible-reading programs, and many attend extra church services. The four weeks of the Advent season are meant to be a spiritual house-cleaning, in which people clear away the distractions and sins that have kept Christ from being at the center of their hearts.
For many, the Advent season is far from the above. Instead, it is a stress-filled, hurried, and overly- busy time in which they run to and fro trying to get last minute shopping, baking and cleaning done. The pressures, temptations, and distractions of society pull like a powerful magnet with tremendous force, drawing them away from Christ. Some resist the pull, but many others give in, knowing deep down inside that there is more to the season than what they’re experiencing.
What about you? Do you celebrate Advent the way it was meant to be or do you fall in with the majority of people for whom Advent has become something very different? This time of year can be a wonderful time of refocusing your heart and basking in the wonder and mystery of Christ’s coming. But you need to open your heart to Him and resist the pull of society through the power of the Holy Spirit. God has beautiful things in store for those who will.
Lord Jesus, let the Advent season be different this year in my life.
Grant me the courage and strength I will
need to resist the magnetic pull of society and to make You
my highest priority.
I pray this in Your name, amen.