“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:11-12 NIV
I love the Advent season. It wasn’t part of my Christmas tradition growing up, but as an adult, I value it so deeply. I love to engage in a special devotional to help me stay focused on the meaning of the season. I love the lighting of the purple and pink candles each week. In fact, I love Advent so much that this year, even our dogs are in on the waiting with their very own dog treat Advent calendars! (Gus was willing to pose for a picture; Bella was asleep and not feeling the paparazzi!)
If you aren’t familiar with this season in the church’s calendar, Advent is the time when we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ- both the symbolic coming of Baby Jesus at Christmas and the second coming of Christ to redeem His people. It is a time of anticipation and excitement. Each week focuses on a different theme as we get closer to Christmas. The first week’s theme is hope.
Hope can be an exciting, even scary emotion. We hope for a lot of things- a new job, a raise, a good grade, a new car, an end to COVID! With most things, especially those that are tangible and earthly, we might get what we want, the way we want it- or we might not. Yet we persist with hope, even though we know the outcome isn’t guaranteed.
In the Advent season, however, we can have hope with certainty! We know Christ is coming. The precise details might not be clear to us, but we know it to be true. For centuries, God’s people waited and waited for a Messiah to come, and He did, though not all recognized him. Now, Christians continue to await His return. In the passage above from Romans, Paul assures readers that “the night is nearly over; the day is almost here!” In other words, we’re closer to the return of Christ than ever before. The light is coming!
When I was a little girl, I would get so excited about the Christmas gifts I hoped to receive that I could hardly sleep on Christmas Eve. That is the kind of hope we all need to have during the Advent season! In the next few weeks, prepare your heart for His coming. “Wake up from your slumber!” Paul says in Romans 13:11. Get excited! Jesus is coming!
Here’s a great song to listen to as you prepare your heart for hope this week!
I would love to hear what your favorite Advent traditions are! Leave me a comment!