A Season of Waiting: Advent
Advent again upon us, a season of eager waiting and joyful hope.
Well then, the Lord himself will give you a sign: a young woman who is pregnant will have a son and will name him “Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 (GNT)
Although children (and let’s face it, some adults!) view Advent as a countdown to Christmas Day and all its festivities, it’s actually a “count up” to December 25, reigniting our hope of Christ’s second coming. After all, the term Advent means “coming” in Latin.
Throughout the ages, God’s people have lived hopefully:
Old Testament: Israel lived in desperate hope, waiting on a Messiah to rescue them.
New Testament: We are introduced to the Messiah who was brought to earth from his throne in heaven, to be our Rescuer and Messiah. A
Present Day: We are waiting yet again, this time for His final coming.
During this season, it is easy to relate to Israel’s hope and eagerness as they waited for the Savior who would fulfill the prophecies. There are numerous verses foretelling the coming Messiah, many from the book of the prophet Isaiah:
- This child will be King David's successor and will rule Israel with justice (Isaiah 9:7).
- He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace, and his reign will “continue to grow” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
- Isaiah also speaks of a king who will rise up among David's descendants, inaugurating a peaceful kingdom (Isaiah 11:1-9).
- This king will be a symbol to the nations, gathering all the exiles back to Israel (Isaiah 11:10).
During the season of Advent, many churches uses candles to symbolize the season, where candles help us to focus on light coming into the darkness. Each Sunday a candle is it, representing hope, peace, love, and joy. The candles are placed in a circle of evergreen branches, symbolizing eternal life. The center contains a large, white “Christ Candle” that will be lit on Christmas to represent Jesus’ birth.
The Advent season comes to a close with the recognition of Jesus's arrival on Christmas day, but this is only the beginning. After weeks of focusing on the preparation of our hearts for His arrival, our faith is renewed. As the start of the church calendar, we can begin the year focusing on the Light, and the hope and joy He brings to the earth.
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