BY STEVE DUNN
Thanksgiving is over. The only remnant may be those turkey leftovers jammed into the refrig. Black Friday has come and gone, except you now have a sore feet and a nasty hangover on your credit cards. In my part of the country, the male population of whole villages have ascended into the hills. Hunting season has begun. And the Disney Channel and assorted retailers are reminding you another season is underway. It’s called the Christmas Season, often accompanied by reminders of how many shopping days are left in the season.
Unless you were in a church this Sunday or a part of Christian community, you may be unaware that yesterday another season began. It is called Advent and it is observed beginning on the first of four Sundays and the intervening weekdays until Christmas actually arrives – December 25th.
Advent is a celebration of an Arrival. The arrival of God in the flesh in the person of a baby, whose name was Jesus. (Jesus means, “He shall save his people.” It is also spoken of as the First Coming, the first time God took on human flesh to reveal who he is and what he intends. This implies a Second Coming, which Christians look forward to when God will return to put an end to sin and its deadly impact on our world. When God will create a New Heaven and a New Earth in which all people will enjoy the eternal blessing of living in His undeniable presence.
Christians believe that the purpose of Christmas was for God to declare once and for all that He shall bring peace and wholeness and salvation to His people. Advent helps once again prepare to focus on the purpose of that First Coming so that we will be ready for His next one.