What’s the Meaning of Advent?

Look at every glittering light and sprig of holly as a sign of what’s to come.

Posted in , Nov 28, 2017

The hope of Advent

I’m a runner. A very sloooooow runner. And I don’t run very far. Most mornings I consider it an achievement to make it up and around the park and back home again. A little over three miles.

All sorts of thoughts go through my head when I run: “This is too hard. It’s too cold out today. Here comes that hill. I hate going up a hill. I wish I could walk it instead of run…”

Truth to tell, such thoughts aren’t very helpful. Instead I try to focus on some of the good things that are coming up: “We’ve got those flights booked to California. That should be really fun. We’ll get to see the family, the kids…”

Somehow looking forward is a spark that puts more energy in my step. Seeing what there is to hope for. That’s what Advent is all about.

I used to think that the word “Advent” meant “waiting.” After all, it was the period of waiting for Christmas, waiting to celebrate Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Waiting till we got to open the presents, waiting till the tree went up.

But Advent doesn’t mean waiting at all. It means “coming.” The coming of Jesus into our lives, the coming of Christmas into our hearts, the coming of love on the earth.

I think all those signs that say how many shopping days left till Christmas have got it wrong. They’re looking backwards, counting off the days that have passed (and urging us to shop until we drop).

Instead, look at every glittering light and sprig of holly as a sign of what’s to come. Not what’s here just yet, but what’s to come. What we pray for in hope. What makes some of the tough things we do and the challenges we face worthwhile.

JESUS IS COMING. He’s here. That’s the good news. But He’s always coming to make the world better.

Happy Advent. Remember, the best is yet to come. 

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