- Advent means coming.
- We set our minds on Jesus, the light of the world who came into the world to change the world forever.
- We let that change begin with us.
- During Advent, we set aside time to think about what Jesus’s coming means. We think about what it must have been like to wait for the first Advent, when Jesus came as a humble baby. We feel the anticipation ourselves as we look forward to the second advent of Christ. We think about how much our world – and we ourselves -- need Jesus to come right here, right now.
- There are many ways and traditions within the church to observe Advent. This year, we are observing the traditional themes of advent: the light of hope, of love, of joy, and of peace. Each candle around the outside of the Advent wreath represents one of these lights. The reason we are able to have any of these, of course, is Jesus, represented by the Christ candle in the center.
- Our theme verse this year comes from Mt. 24:42: “…Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Our Lord is coming; we believe and are looking for Him.
- Let’s start by letting the word wash over us as we begin celebrating the first week of Advent: HOPE.
- Micah 7:7
But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. - Psalm 39: 7
(From Matthew 25)
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
Andrew, our pastor, often talks about how we’re not here to run a sprint; we’re running a marathon, here. If I’m going to make it, I need to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I need to see people carrying the light around me, encouraging me on. We have these things. We even have Jesus’s own Spirit burning inside us.
Even as we are in the middle of whatever dark circumstances are around us, we know He’s coming. Therefore, since we have hope, we don’t sit around asking, “Are you coming?” If we have hope burning within us, we ask, “How long, O Lord, until you come?” We aren’t looking for anyone else to cure the sin of the world. “How long, O Lord, until YOU come?” Our world has only one Hope. So we wait, looking everywhere to find Him. We do not know exactly when to expect Him, so we look for Him everywhere. We know He is coming; we just don’t know how long He will take.