“The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God in readiness for God from day one. Everything was created through Him;…” John 1:1-3a (Message)
Advent was not a word heard around my home, church or school growing up. I remember looking up the definition when I first read the word. The word literally means coming or appearing. I’m chuckling writing this, because Advent has become so meaningful to me.
We looked forward every year to celebrating Christmas in our family. But at church Christmas always involved a few children in bathrobes and towels on their heads directed by some wonderful Sunday School teachers, a bag with an apple, orange and a peppermint cane handed out by the “deacons” and Christmas carols from the “song book.” That was Christmas at church as I remember and treasure it. The truly big day was marked by our family with Scripture reading, carols, prayer, lots of Southern cooking and exchanging gifts and it was wonderful!
As a young man I discovered Advent and each year I reread all of the now familiar passages of Scripture and look back on the anticipation of the first appearing of our Savior and reflect on my anticipation of His Second Appearing. Because of Advent, Christmas has become much more of a wonder to me. I have endeavored to pass this on to my children, although admittedly they all anticipate the exchange of gifts. Hey that is a huge improvement. They used to just look forward to receiving the gifts. Each year I get a Power Point presentation complete with cost and location of each item they “hope” for. So Becky and I have lit candles and made Advent wreaths from the fragrant pines in our back yard with our children and we’ve sang Christmas carols nightly around the piano from a big book of Christmas music for children we purchased years ago. Advent has been celebrated in our “devos” (that’s Benjamin’s shorthand for our evening devotion) since they were toddlers. Tonight we will begin again, after dinner with a dear friend, who is home for a visit.
Peace and joy to you in this Advent Season!