Wednesday, December 11, 2019
“Wow! That sounds like fun!” I smiled. “Do you know what Advent means?”
“No.” she said, “Maybe ‘surprise’ or ‘count down’?”
“Because of all the little surprises in each window counting down to Christmas!” I laughed, “Good guesses. But it means something even better. Got another guess?”
Baffled she shrugged her shoulders.
“Advent means,” I said, “someone very special is coming.”
She clapped her hands again. “SANTA!” She shouted as she ran out of my office to get back to work on an Advent Calendar filled with 24 surprises counting down the nights until the day humanity pauses to remember the birth of a baby.
Advent. God arrives on Earth. A baby born to a teenage mum. Jesus.
You know the story.
At hundreds of Carols by Candlelight programs right around Australia, Aussies will sing of the ‘Holy Night’ when ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ in the ‘Little Town of Bethlehem’ that ‘Joy to the World’ arrived ‘Away in a Manger’ answering the call of humanity to ‘Come, O come Emmanuel.” That first Advent of God on Earth was something to sing about. So much so that we are still singing about it two thousand years later!
Emmanuel means ‘God with us.’ And He is. You have a friend closer than a brother. A Father who loves you more than you can imagine. Jesus arrived as a helpless baby to show that God was willing to be vulnerable for us. He loves us enough to become one of us. We needed Him. So, He came. Emmanuel.
Please, don’t let Christmas be hijacked by the story of an old guy in a red hoodie who delivers Kmart kitsch. Tell the story of Jesus to your children. It’s part of your story. You’re already singing about it. That first Christmas is a surprise worth remembering with a month-long count down. It’s the joyful chapter in the story of a God who loves His children. It’s the Advent that rebooted humanity’s Calendar.
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