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Stewardship of the Goodnews

Advent.  I tend to think of this word as something quite foreign, so every year when late November hits I relook at what Advent actually means.  This year I did a quick web search and the primary definition found on definitely caught my attention:

ad·vent (dvnt)
1. The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important: the advent of the computer.

That really does sum up what we are celebrating during the season of Advent, doesn't it?  We could go into the history of the church using this time before Christmas, to prepare for both Jesus' coming as a child born in Bethlehem, as well as looking forward to that Second Coming, where Jesus will not only come to Judge, but to make good on the promise of forgiveness and reconciliation that his earthly ministry was all about.  

We could remind each other that the season of Advent was once a time, much like Lent, in which the devote, would spend much of the season in prayer and fasting, hoping to prepare themselves to hear the world changing news of Christmas anew.

We could look at the history of the Advent wreath, which acted as a countdown to Christmas, and depending on the country it was being celebrated in, would provide specific spiritual virtues to concentrate on for the week.

But, what if, we did something crazy this year.  Instead of focusing on what WE should do, or how WE should prepare, or what OUR history shapes us, we focus on the object of our faith, namely Jesus.  Lets look again at that definition.  The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important. It seems to me that Advent is not about us, but about the “something” or in our case “someone” extremely important who is coming, has come, and will come again.  

My encouragement for all of us (I need to hear this just as much, if not more than any of you), is throughout all of our preparations for Christmas: through the gift buying; home decorating; meal planning; figuring out how family gatherings will work; etc. is to remember the reason for the holiday.  The Creator of the universe, emptied Himself, and was born to a human family, in order to bridge the gap between Himself and Us, His creation.

Blessed Advent, and Happy Christmas,

~Matthew Rose, Pastor