Our Advent word this morning is “journey.” Advent is a Latin word meaning “to come.” For Christians, Advent is a time to anticipate and welcome the coming of Christ, both the Christ child who came over two thousand years ago and the risen Christ who promised to come again. Advent is a journey of preparing our hearts, minds and souls for the coming of Christ.
Advent is a time to relive each phase of the Christmas narrative. Advent is a time to remember both the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament, telling the people that a Savior would come and the angelic birth announcements in the New Testament. Advent is a time to reflect on the will of God in our lives. After Mary had given birth to Jesus, the Bible says, “she pondered these things in her heart.” During our Advent journey, we take time to ponder the will of God for our lives. Advent is a time to worship. There is a joyful energy present in worship during Advent, as we join together to await and worship “the newborn King.” Advent is a time to celebrate the gifts God has given us.
Advent is about the next four weeks; it isn’t about a single event. Advent is a journey, not a quick trip. But if you travel that journey intentionally and expectantly, you may discover again the wonder of the child in the manger.
From Isaiah 9 (The Message): “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—light! sunbursts of light! … The joy of a great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings. The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants Is gone, done away with, a deliverance as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian. For a child has been born—for us! the gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He’ll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going with fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. GOD will do all this.”