I'm so excited and so happy that Christmastime is here. Yes, I started listening to Christmas music in late September and yes, I was drinking peppermint mochas in early October, but I am leaping in excitement and anticipation that it is December. Though I'm a summertime kind of guy through and through, it was sweet to my eyes to see snow coming down a few weeks ago and blanketing the ground around campus. It was wonderful to decorate the Christmas tree here at CCF and see it glowing in our worship area.
I love Christmas and I'm so glad that it is upon us yet again.
In this article, I just wanted to talk a little bit about Christmastime and the season that the church has historically referred to as Advent.
Advent is, to put it basically, a season that is observed in some churches today and has historically been observed by the church worldwide wherein the saints more deeply and carefully consider the coming and incarnation of Jesus Christ and expectantly await His second coming. Advent isn't observed in every local church, as not all churches follow the church calendar, (this, of course, is just fine) but I have found Advent to be a really beautiful, really special, really intriguing, and really unique.
We've all heard about "the Christmas Spirit" and many of us have perceived there to be a kind of magical feeling about this time of year, this season. Now there are some Scrooges out there who are more grouchy and grumbly around this time of the year and some of the commercialization of the season and the cultural practices that are more immediately recognizable make being grumpy about Christmas somewhat understandable, but when we lean into the purpose of Advent and the purpose of Christmas, we have good reason to perk up and cease to be crusty.
Advent is an excellent time to lean into and consider Jesus Christ and have the soul's passions and affections stirred for Him. Advent is an excellent time to reflect on one's own heart to see if its wishes, cravings, and loves are proper or if they are inordinate and faulty. Advent is an excellent time, as every time truly is, to tell the world about that wondrous king that came on that first Christmas. Advent is an excellent time for getting yourself familiar with some of the deep things of God-namely the Incarnation, the deity of Christ, and the nature of Jesus as the Messiah and the one bringing the Kingdom of God.
Amidst all the time taking final exams, Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts, waiting to see what you got for Christmas, cooking, traveling, and meeting with friends and family, I urge you to resolve to meditate on the things of God. I urge you to soak in the Scriptures. I urge you to study the Bible and read good books on the person and work of Jesus. I urge you to seek time of solitude to think and pray. This Advent could be the best of your life and the joy offered here is only offered in communion and in consideration of the Son of God who gave His life to make you free, to save your soul, to purchase you for love, and to give you indestructible joy.