Here Comes the Coming

It's the first day of Advent. And?

I'm still learning what Advent means, really. That sounds silly, but it's always been this word that I've heard "good Christians" say and something they refer to like I'm supposed to know all about it. (You know, like in high school when the older boys would talk about...well, nevermind.) I just nod my holy nod and play along like of course. But I'm still figuring it out. I'm still searching for what it means in my life and in my family.

Please don't think I can't operate a dictionary. I can plug the word into the little search line at the top of the screen and come up with:

ad·vent/ˈæd vɛnt/ [ad-vent] noun

1. a coming into place, view, or being; arrival: the advent of the holiday season.

2. ( usually initial capital letter ) the coming of Christ into the world.

3. ( initial capital letter ) the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world.

4. ( usually initial capital letter ) Second Coming.

And I think, in practical terms, most believers I know use it to refer to their celebration of Christmas as it centers around Christ rather than a jolly old man with a long white beard and Toys R Us.   Even with this basic understanding, I still feel like it's just coming together for me and my little family. It's so easy to allow Advent become all about the crafts or the planned times as a family or what I'll post about it on my little blog and what a great mom others will take me for. And when that happens, I might as well invite Santa over for milk and cookies, because I've still missed the point.   All the cute little crafts and reading of the Christmas Scriptures and church events just become those meaningless sacrifices that God continually fussed at the Israelites for.   And so He always brings it back to the same thing. Love me. And love the people I love.   This year, just now, I feel Him stretching my understanding of The Coming. In years past, we've focused so much on the miracle of Christ's coming as a baby in Bethlehem. And rightly so. But this year, I'm feeling him pull my focus even further, all the way down to Definition #4. The Second Coming.   Both of Christ's Comings should have a daily impact on my life. Because of His First Coming, I have life abundant and everlasting. I have forgiveness and reconciliation. And because of His impending Second Coming, I have hope and purpose.   I should be living like the new creation that I am and living like this world is not my home.   So while I attend family functions, have fun at Christmas parties, do crafts with my kids, read Scripture as a family, and try to figure out what Advent looks like for us, I want to remember His Coming as a baby and His Coming as a king, and let that overflow in my life as love for God and love for others.   That's something to celebrate.


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