Growing up, I didn't know about
Advent. Christmas was a one-day-event. I knew it was the day we
celebrated Jesus' birthday. But mostly it was about getting presents
and all the festivities surrounding it. My mom and dad loved Jesus.
They wanted their children to love him too. They were also concerned
that by believing
in Santa, it would take away from believing in Jesus. However, they
allowed us to see Santa, and sit on his lap to tell him our Christmas
wishes. Yet they never encouraged us to "believe" in Santa.
When we asked mom if Santa was "real," she would say,
"He's a real myth." Somehow her answer satisfied me. I
deduced that Santa was for pretending. For my brother, that's another
story. He bought into the "myth," until one of his school
mates told him the truth. He was terribly disappointed.
About twenty-five years ago my
husband and I and our three children began attending a church that
observed Advent. At first I wasn't sure about this celebration. After
all, Advent isn't mentioned in the Bible. But I appreciated the month-long
on waiting and preparing our hearts for our Savior's birthday
celebration, and his eventual second coming. So we made Advent a
family tradition. Our children are now grown and moved out, but the
nightly lighting of our Advent candles with them are fond memories.
Even though the term Advent,
which means coming, from the Latin word, Adventus, isn't
mentioned in Scripture, the concept of expectant waiting for the
coming Messiah is certainly a Biblical theme! Think of Isaiah's
message of the child who would be born and named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of
Peace (Isaiah 9:6). And consider Simeon waiting
for the consolation of Israel, or Anna, the prophetess, who was looking for the coming redemption of
Jerusalem (Luke 2:25-38). Think also of the Wise Men who were
expectantly waiting for the star to rise in the east, which would lead them to the
King of kings.
Today, let the Advent season
remind us of Christ's first coming, and compel us to live lives worthy
of our Lord Jesus, eagerly awaiting his second coming (1 Thessalonians