When you look up the word "Advent" in the dictionary, here is what you get:
"Coming; the arrival of an important person."
The 1828 Webster Dictionary defines it more clearly as:
"Coming, as in the coming of our Savior."
One thing that has always been a part of Christmas in my house is Advent. We read scripture, learn about the birth of Jesus, and sing carols around a candlelit table. Some of my favorite Christmas memories are of Advent. Sure, it is a time where our family comes together and celebrates Christmas, but do we truly understand "the coming?"
Jesus is coming!
We should be on the edge of our seats, with our eyes always open, waiting, watching for the birth of our Savior. And when at last we see his star in the sky, we can shout "Hallelujah! Our King has finally arrived!" This is our time of celebration. While the rest of the world enjoys the holiday, this is our time of joy! God has sent his Son down to save us, his lowly sinful people. Soon, with the coming of Easter, he will have conquered death and set us free.
We who know the truth can identify with Simeon as he praises God:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
Simeon knew what few understood at the time. This humble baby, born into a bed of straw, would be the one to rescue every person on this earth. This little boy would grow up and change not just the world, but eternity forever.
We are those Gentiles he speaks of. We have seen the light, the beautiful light of salvation that God sent down to us in the heart of a baby boy.
So as we celebrate this blessed season, we can hold onto the hope and the joy of knowing that he is coming, not just at Christmas, but at the end of all time.
For unto us a child is born.