Advent Season: A Celebration of Hope

Advent-seasonBy Martha Bush

Let the Advent Season Begin!

By way of definition, advent means “coming” or “arrival.” In the case of Christmas, it is the arrival of Jesus, the greatest gift ever given to the world. It is a celebration of hope that spans the four Sundays leading up to Christmas that is to be spent preparing our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ coming and remembering that He promised to come again. Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on December 24. (Ref: Got

But, as we know, Jesus did not come without a long wait. There were four hundred years of silence between the final prophecies spoken in Malachi and the birth of Jesus Christ.

Imagine four hundred years without hearing a word from God. No doubt as each generation waited, they struggled to keep faith in the promises given long before. But, suddenly at the appointed time, angels could be heard in Bethlehem proclaiming Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men on whom his favor rests. (Luke 2:14 NIV)

The wait was over, not only for Mary and Joseph, but for the whole world. At last our Savior had been born to take away our sins.

As a woman, my heart has always gone out to Mary. She must have been filled with mixed emotions leading up to the birth of Jesus. A virgin teenage pregnancy and the long ride to Bethlehem on a donkey right before His birth are obviously two things that no other woman has ever experienced. And yet, I cannot even imagine the excitement she must have also had for being chosen to birth the Savior of the world after 400 years. I have often wondered the feelings she might have had preparing for an event such as this.

It takes me back to the birth of my second daughter. How well I remember the months of preparing and waiting leading up to her birth. “Your due date is December 25th,” the doctor announced. I gasped at the thought of having a baby on Christmas day. Before I even left the doctor's office, my mind went into overdrive with things I would have to do to prepare, not only for her birth, but Christmas day for the rest of the family. (1) shop for gifts during July 4th sales, (2) mail out Christmas cards during  Thanksgiving, (3) stock up on groceries weeks in advance, and my "to do" list began to fill up a notebook page. By December 1st, I was stressed out trying to get everything done before her arrival. I was also experiencing anxiety of being in the hospital on Christmas day, and miss having Santa with my four-year-old little girl at home.

Truthfully, I had a hard time getting excited about my newborn’s arrival just thinking about all these things.  

Sadly, when it comes to Christmas, most of us are often in a mad dash trying to get prepared for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Often times, the season that marks the arrival of the Prince of Peace has somehow begun to leave us feeling frantic, stressed, and ironically, without peace.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

So, to kick this Advent Season off today, I would like for us to concentrate on the following question:

  • What can you leave off your “to do” list to prepare your heart for the celebration of Jesus' first coming and His promise to come again? 

Let’s exchange ideas in the comments and encourage one another.


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