We observe advent to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. In some churches around the world advent takes an eminent position in the celebration of Christmas. People use the period to reflect on their faith and to prepare their hearts, symbolically, for the coming of Jesus. Though we know that Jesus has come, and that He will come again, advent is a special time to practice anticipation.
For centuries the Israelites had known that a ‘redeemer’ would come. The prophet Baalam had prophesied, many years before, that “a Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel…” (Numbers 24:17). Most devout Jews knew that prophecy and others that tell of the coming of their Messiah. Some were expectantly awaiting this new king who would lift them out of the oppression they had faced for so long. However, when He did come, many of them missed it.
In a bit of an ironical twist, when Kings from the East arrived at Herod’s palace claiming they had seen “His star” Jewish scribes who Herod consulted, confirmed the exact details of His proposed birth place. They told the king that Micah had prophesied the king would be born in Bethlehem. The wise men left the palace of Herod in search of the king, but there is no indication that the Jews who were – supposedly waiting – ever did. His coming was revealed to humble shepherds and to kings from the East.
Maybe these people were really waiting. Sunday December 2nd is the first Sunday of Advent. We want to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. Christmas is a holy and sacred time, an aspect that gets lost in the holiday hustle. While we do not want to take away the joy and the traditions that make Christmas special, we want to truly remember what it is all about. As we prepare our hearts for Christmas, we look forward in faith to His second coming. Every day until Christmas there will be a new advent posting with scripture verses, reflective thoughts, and things you can do with your family.