Advent is coming, its marks the beginning of our church year. This Advent is particularly unique and eventful as I await the birth of my own child.
The Birth of a child is a special thing. I am reflecting on how much love and attention our baby has already received and they aren’t even born yet. We are so thankful for all the gifts and well wishes. It certainly makes me think the Jesus came to us as a child for a reason. For Christians, the birth of Jesus is not an afterthought. The birth of Christ is the beginning of the Good News that “God is with us”. John 1:14 tells us “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” The announcement and birth of a Child has a unique and special way of creating and nurturing community. Just look at all the people who gathered around Jesus when he was born. Mary, Joseph, Angels, Shepherds, Animals, and Kings. The focus of each one shifted to adoring and loving this child. Their needs seem to be put on hold and a generous spirit of caring to flowed forth toward this Mother and Child.
We have a lot of hurt and division happening in the world, and yet we celebrate grace and truth that comes in the Christ Child. Through this child we are called together. When we focus on loving Jesus we quickly understand that through Jesus we are loved by God and we are called to a greater purpose by God’s light in the world. This love is meant to be shared with the world and bring redemption. Advent is the season we celebrate and prepare for the Good News found in Jesus.
We celebrate advent using several colors. In some traditions the color of Advent is blue as a symbol of hope and Jesus’ royalty. In other traditions purple and rose symbolize the coming Kingdom and the need for repentance as we hear from John the Baptist and Jesus: “Repent for the Kingdom is at hand.” Both are true. Jesus brings hope, but he also reminds us that God comes to shake things up in our lives.
We celebrate Advent not just to remember the hope of God’s people waiting for Jesus long ago, but also as God’s people who wait for Jesus to come again now. We are still waiting!
Caitlin and I preparing for our own child with lots of fear and excitement. We know that you share in the experience as well. What will baby look like? Will it be a boy or a girl?
I invite you to reflect upon a waiting, or any other period of waiting in your life. What was it like to anticipate change? How might that be similar to us as we wait for Jesus? While we wait for Jesus, know the Holy Spirit is with us and beside us, guiding and preparing all of us.
This year we will have our Soup and Service on Wednesday’s during Advent. The theme we are looking at Saints sharing the spirit of Advent: St Nicolas, St. Lucy and Katharina Von Bora (Katie Luther) Let’s find out together.
I hope that this Advent and Christmas, Christ makes himself known to you in a meaningful way. Caitlin and I look forward introducing baby and sharing stories and photos. Have a happy and blessed celebration here in our community and with your family.