As you can probably tell by my last few thankfulness posts, I’m pretty excited for Christmas. For myself, yes, but mostly for Jared. I can’t wait to share with him everything I love about the season, from the music, to the lights, the joy of giving, and most especially the hope and expectation of Jesus Christ, the reason for the season.
That is the purpose of advent, after all: a symbolic time of remembering the expectation and hope the preceded the birth of Jesus, just as we anticipate Christmas Day excitedly. His birth was prophesied and awaited for SO LONG! That made his arrival all the more joyous! We have so many things planned during advent to help teach this to our son and to foster joy in him in the process, including the daily Christmas books pictured above, because the period leading up to Christmas is almost as important as the day itself. We want him to start to understand not only the true meaning of Christmas, but how it fits into the bigger picture.
The Sunday school lesson I taught this past Sunday – the first Sunday of Advent – highlighted hope, as is traditional. I spoke of the hope before Christmas, which symbolized the hope the Jews had for their Messiah to come, and the reason a Saviour was so important and needed. However, the lesson didn’t stop there. It’s good to remember this hope and expectation of the past, and essential to understand Jesus’ birth as key in the plan of salvation, but we also continue to await Jesus today, eagerly expecting that day when He returns a second time, as He has promised! And that is a source of great joy that continues to this day. Yes, indeed… HE IS COMING AGAIN!
So whether you are as excited about Christmas as I am, or you tend to not care or even feel pain at this time of year, I pray that throughout Advent you will remember and hold onto this hope. The hope – the promise! – that one day, Jesus will be back, and all pain and sorrow will be ended forever. And that will be even better than the best of Christmases. : )