November 30, 2020, 5:17 AM

…In our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?

~Isaiah 64:5

I hear it often as a pastor this time of year: “We’re putting up the Christmas decorations in the Church this Saturday.” This, in my mind, is akin to calling the book of Revelation, “Revelations.” Or, for the book of Psalms, “Palms.” No, it’s not Christmas (yet); it’s Advent. You can’t have Christmas without Advent. In order to get to Christmas, like all previous pilgrims to go the way of all the earth, you must travel through Advent. Advent is not Christmas. It is the Prequel to the Incarnation. Advent is dark. Christmas is light.

Speaking of darkness, the pandemic-clouded year of 2020 has gifted us with an extended Advent meditation. We won’t (can’t) forget this past year. It has revealed our weaknesses. Our vulnerabilities. Our great need of saving, because we can’t save ourselves. But this is what Advent is supposed to do. We must look honestly at our dire situation, our sin encased by varying shades of fallen epidermis. We need Messiah!

I would compare Advent to the season of Lent that precedes Easter Sunday. Lent intensifies during Holy Week, and then turns up the volume on Good Friday, before falling deathly quiet on Holy Saturday – then – Resurrection Day! This is what we do during Advent. We somberly wait. Expectantly, but at the same time, taking in the darkness. But we look to what God is going to do (promised to do) in Messiah. We know the Incarnation in Bethlehem is the earnest deposit on the Consummation of all things in Christ on the Last Day.

We wait. We persevere. We learn joy in all circumstances, because we know...

We will ruminate on this season over the successive weeks leading into Christmas.

In the Spirit of the season, I leave you with a John the Baptist “Advent Holiday Card.” My son, Matthew, and wife, Shannon, got the idea from last years’ sermon series through Advent. Matthew commissioned her to render the spirit of the season artistically.


12-01-2020 at 10:00 AM
Susan Caldwell
Oh yes, He knows my everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. Yet, it is my prayer that He makes note the good I do too. Melt me, mold me, save me Oh Lord! Thank you Jesus my Lord and Saviour. Let us keep our eyes focused on Jesus. Come Lord Jesus.
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