Many people love Christmas. There’s a radio station in Detroit that has been playing Christmas tunes 24/7 for a few weeks. Christmas is nostalgic and beautiful. It tells the story of God the Son being born in humility to save the world.
Christmas is great.
But I love Advent!
There is something special about the building excitement and anticipation of the season. The Christian new year begins with the first Sunday of Advent, not with Christmas. This communicates something intriguing about our faith.
Advent plunges us into the already/not yet of our faith.
Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, it is represented by the “Prophecy” candle. We read the following Scripture,
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’
(Jeremiah 33:14–16 ESV)
I am struck by, “the days are coming”. There is a certainty in what the Lord says. There is no doubt about the coming of the “righteous Branch.” King Jesus is coming. We can bank on it.
We live in a time when promises are not often fulfilled. The leaders of our governments tell us things and make promises all the time. But, they do not fulfill them. God’s promises, on the other hand, are sure. There is no doubt.
The first Sunday in Advent is the time when we are reminded of the promise of a savior and how God the father made good on that promise. It is also the Sunday that allows us to renew our faith in the hope of the Return of the King!