Diving Head-First into Advent

I realized back in high school that Christmas was something I needed to get ready for. As it turns out, if I just do December like it’s August, I get to Christmas Eve and realize I am totally ready for a holiday that requires no emotional engagement. (You know, like Labor Day.) Christmas is not that kind of holiday.

Since the gap this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the shortest possible, I feel a little bit like my current M.O. is “hurry up and wait.” Panic is not exactly the best way to get in the mood for Christmas, though, so I’m really trying to maximize this whole Advent deal.

For the past several years, I have focused my thinking during this season on the miraculous craziness that is the Incarnation. That the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. That the promised Messiah really showed up. That there was a time when God was a zygote. That the greatest story ever thought of is true.

This year, I’ve decided to zoom in on a different aspect of Advent – the fact that the story isn’t over. The life of Christ is the answer to all the pain and suffering and confusion and anger and sin in the world, which has yet to be fully realized. Those of us who celebrate Advent do so not just because Jesus came, but because He’s coming back, and as much as we look back with joy, we look forward even more with hope. The anticipation that builds during Advent is intended to make us hunger for the return of the King. Come, Thou long-expected Jesus…

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