It’s Advent! What exactly is Advent?
Advent is the anticipation of Christ’s coming, celebrated on December 25th. Advent is traditionally the countdown to Christmas in mostly Protestant denominations of the Christian church.
The Advent season begins on the 4th Sunday before Christmas. It usually lands on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. In many Protestant churches, traditional purple cloths adorn the altar and Christmas decorations go up including the Advent Wreath. Each Sunday before Christmas, a candle is lit in the Advent Wreath — each candle represents faith, hope, peace, joy and love is the Christ candle in the middle. There are many Advent traditions.
The word advent means: The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important. It’s roots: Middle English, the Advent season, from Old French, from Latin adventus, arrival.
Growing up in the Catholic Church, the churches my family attended didn’t do the Advent Wreath, but we had an “Advent Calendar” at home. It had 25 little doors with different pictures as we counted the days with anticipation to Christmas.
As a Catholic kid, I knew that on Christmas Day, Jesus, the Son of God, was born in a stable because there was no room for them in the Inn. We put out the ceramic manger/nativity scene. I knew the story.
God Became Man
But why did Jesus leave his comfy home in Heaven to be born among the lowest of the lowly shepherds and be hailed by wise men as the King of Kings?
He came to save us from sin — the sin that started in the Garden of Eden when Eve disobeyed God’s one rule and then enticed Adam to do the same.
That was the “fall of man” that started the curse…
“Since you listened to your wife and ate from the treeGenesis 3:17-19 NLT
whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,
the ground is cursed because of you.
All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you,
though you will eat of its grains.
19 By the sweat of your brow
will you have food to eat
until you return to the ground
from which you were made.
For you were made from dust,
and to dust you will return.”
Paul Reminded Us…
19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.
23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)Romans 8:19, 23-25 NLT
The Christmas carols that we hear everywhere are songs we learned as children. They are played and sung in stores and malls so that you will be in the “Christmas Spirit” and buy more.
But they were written for a different reason. In olden times, the majority of the people were illiterate, way before the Bible was the best selling book and available in their spoken language. So, pastors and church leaders turned to both stained glass windows and songs/hymns to tell the bible stories.
Emmanuel = “God with us”
Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).Isaiah 7:14 NLT
6 For a child is born to us,Isaiah 9:6 NLT
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father*, Prince of Peace.
*An interesting note is that this is one of the only places in the Old Testament where God is referred to as “Father”. It was not until Christ, His son was born and we became His children, when we are born again, that He is call “Abba”, Father. We can call him “Daddy” — that’s what “Abba” means. Everlasting Father. Usually in the Old Testament God was referred to as “The Lord.”
This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus was born…
23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!Matthew 1:23 NLT
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’”
The Lord God, the Father, sent us His son, a savior, in a humble manger.
Handel’s Messiah, For Unto Us a Child is Born
Jesus was born so we could be born again.
Goodbye 2020 — and Good Riddance!
2020 has surely been an “unprecedented” year. I’m sure many people will be glad to see it it end. Unfortunately, we have no idea what 2021 will bring. I bet you were planning differently last December. It was probably a typical New Years’ celebration. Little did we know that the “birth pains” would start — the Biblical prophecies Jesus warned us about in Matthew 24, Luke 17 and 21 and Mark 13. (You can look them up.)
The most wonderful thing is that this world is only temporary and that my home is in Heaven with Jesus. Jesus said…
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”John 14:1-4 NLT
Jesus is coming back soon! Are you ready?
That’s the second Advent! The one that could happen at any moment. The Rapture! When Jesus will come and call up His born-again believers. The question now is…
Do you know the way to where He went?
You won’t get there by infant baptism. Confessing to a priest and saying penance won’t get you there either. Neither will going to mass every Sunday. You can’t work, pray or pay your way into Heaven! Oh, and by the way, there is no such thing as purgatory either!
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven and that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!