One of my fondest childhood memories of the Christmas season is Advent. The wreath with candles on the altar and the excitement when it was finally our family’s turn to light it. The word “advent” comes from the Latin word meaning “to come”, “the arrival of someone notable”. The purpose is to take this time to prepare ourselves as we wait. If I know someone is coming to my home, I make sure to prepare. I will clean and maybe even make a snack or meal. I get ready for that person. The act of preparing for that person shows that I value them. I want them to feel important and that they were worth the time it took to prepare for them.
With that being said, if I knew a king was coming, imagine how much more care I would put into the preparation. In the first century, a king arrived, but not everyone was prepared in spite of being desperate for one. There was division, tension, and violence. Things were hardly peaceful. Imagine the shepherds' surprise when men of such lowly stature were given the honor of an angelic announcement, the King of Kings had arrived!
Two thousand years later we find ourselves in a similar state of unrest and division, in need of a King to bring peace. That same King who came in the form of an innocent, helpless child reigns still today, and we can rest in the hope that He is returning someday soon! This time we will all hear the heavenly announcement. Instead of taking on the form a babe, he will ride on a white horse and all will bend their knee before Him! He will bring a kingdom where wars, injustice and even death will be a thing of the past and we will live together with him. What a reassuring hope!
In the meantime, let us use this time of advent to expectantly wait and prepare for him. We can love one another as Christ loved us. We can choose joy despite our circumstances. We can share the hope of salvation with others in our lives. Our goal always being that more may fall to their knees in reverence and love on that great day.
-Jaime Miller, Children’s Ministry Assistant