Why I Celebrate ADVENT – not just Christmas

Advent means arrival or coming. It is a celebration of the coming of King Jesus! Advent is to Christmas what Lent is to Easter. It’s a time of preparing for Christmas. Many have already or will very soon prepare their homes for Christmas. We decorate. We change our radio stations or CD selections. We work by lists… new stores, new recipes, new habits. It’s an easy time to get wrapped up in all the trimmings and only give a token remembrance to the heart of Christmas. Growing up in my faith-tradition, I don’t know if I ever even heard about advent; we simply celebrated Christmas. A few years ago, we were introduced to the idea and loved it…

Advent reminds us that we needed Jesus. He came to save us from our sins. It takes us back to the good news of the gospel. I need this reminder because far too often I forget (or try not to think about) my need for salvation. Even though I’m a Christian and have tasted of God’s grace, I still need to prepare him room, and celebrating advent aids my heart in that quest.

Advent is a wonderful time to teach our children about the eternal purposes of God in Jesus. It reminds us of why he came and that he’s coming again! It would be a waste to allow a child’s tender imagination to only drift toward the magic of elves and lights and to never focus on the miracle of the incarnation. I’m challenged every year to turn my family’s excitement away from the natural & visible toward the glorious invisible & supernatural. Celebrating advent helps me do that in my home.

Advent is a wonderful time of spiritual opportunities to share Christ with friends, family, and coworkers. It is one of the easiest times to evangelize and share the gospel, but even though the season is ripe with favor to share Jesus, he can often take second-seat to tinsel and bells. Words like hope, love, joy, and peace are easy topics to bring up with the people I care about. Celebrating advent revives my desire to share Jesus with others.

Will you join me in celebrating advent? Below is how we’re doing it at our church. Join me by listening each week (Dec 3 – Dec 24).

December 3 – Already, Not Yet {HOPE}
December 10 – LOVE is Why
December 17 – Repeat the Sounding JOY
December 24 – The Promise of PEACE

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