Once upon a time, there was a season in the church year known as “Advent.” The word comes to us from the Latin for “coming.” The purpose of the season was to anticipate the coming of Christ to earth; it was a season that focused on waiting.  Not unlike the anticipation I felt as a child looking at the gifts under the tree and not able to open them.

However Advent can be a particularly awkward intrusion in our lives when we live a life that says “I want it now and I get it now.”   In the face of this, Advent is a proclamation of the sufficiency of Christ through the discipline of waiting and links our hearts with those of ancient prophets who pined for a long-promised Messiah but passed long before his arrival.

So this advent let it be a time of expectant waiting, knowing fully the amazing gift God is about to deliver and yet, at the same time, a season of slowing down to savor the season. It’s a time to set aside special moments to fully experience the joy and the miracle of Christmas, to focus on Christ’s birth in the midst of the chaos that covers our to-do lists.

Starting four Sundays before Christmas, Advent is a time to carve out time to commemorate the coming of Christ into the world. It’s embracing a Psalm 46:10 lifestyle for a few weeks each year: “Be still and know I am God.” Be still. Wait. Savor. Gather. Invite.

That’s what the season should be about, isn’t it? Instead of sprinting toward Christmas morning, Advent invites us to breathe deeply and appreciate the anticipation of Christ’s birth.

Advent is about making space for the best thing, so our hearts have room for Jesus as Christmas arrives.  Think about it – are you hurried, hustling, and harried? Or are you slowing down, focusing on God more than gifts, and asking Him to show you how to shine a light during the season?

This Advent, may you celebrate with expectant hearts, savoring the season as we look forward with excitement to receiving the greatest gift God has ever given His children.

Pastor Paul


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash