Advent

1482257_10151735174997191_636337141_oSunday was the first day of Advent. Did you celebrate? Advent is traditionally celebrated on the four Sundays before Christmas with five candles. One candle is lit the first Sunday, two the second, and so on until finally Christmas Eve all candles are lit. I love this tradition for several reasons but the biggest reason is because it builds a Christmas anticipation that is not surrounding gifts and goodies.

A few nights ago as we lit the first candle, my children were already in great anticipation: when would we light each one? Which part of the story we would read each week? How many days until we light the Christ Candle?

But no matter your tradition, it is important not to forget it isn’t about the candles, gifts or even a day off work to spend with family. All these are great but it is about so much more.
According to the dictionary, the word “advent” is a noun meaning the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. Did you catch that? The arrival of a notable person. God in the flesh. Fully human. Fully God.

Emmanuel – God with us.

Every year when I sit and contemplate that reality, it blows me away. This isn’t just the celebration of a miracle. This was the hinge, the turning point of all history. No longer did humans have to be separate from God.

Emmanuel – God with us.

And after the ascension…He is still with us through the Holy Spirit.

Emmanuel – God with us.

So, as Christmas approaches, take time in all the hustle and bustle to celebrate Advent. You don’t have to do it with candles. You can simply do it on your knees with an open heart waiting. After all, a notable person has come. That is why we celebrate.

Emmanuel – God with us.

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