I love this time of year. The traditions, the intentional moments of slowing down to soak in the beauty of the season, the feeling of anticipation. Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year, and I am so excited to celebrate the birth of our savior with my church family.
This week we are ushering in the Christmas season on the blog by beginning a time of Advent. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus”, meaning arrival. In this season of Christmas, we celebrate the baby boy that made his arrival and changed the course of history forever. The first week of advent is “Hope”, and I love that this is how we begin the four weeks leading up to Christmas! When I think of hope, I think of being a little girl, feeling so excited because Christmastime was finally here. Time to make the list of toys I was asking Santa for, time to take a break from school, and time to be with my family, eating our traditional Christmas breakfast while the 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story stayed on the TV. I also think of sweet Mary, with all of the feelings of hope, and fear, and excitement, and anxiety that came from the anticipation of Jesus’ arrival.
This first week of December is always filled with Hope! The hope of getting that one gift we want, the hope of making beautiful memories, and for the Israelites, the hope that would come out of 400 years of silence. The candle that represents the first week of Advent is referred to as “the prophecy candle” and is a reminder that God will do what He says He will. That He is trustworthy to stand on His promises. We are reminded that despite 400 years of waiting, the people of God knew that He would fulfill his promise to send the Messiah.
Isaiah 9 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” What an incredible description about the coming of our precious savior. I think of all of God’s people anxiously awaiting this prophecy, not knowing how or when it would happen, and the hope that they carried with them for hundreds of years.
As we enter into the season of Advent, and the Christmas season, I want to encourage you to think about hope this week. What are you hopeful for right now? Are you in a season of waiting? How can we find and lean into the hope of Jesus?
Let’s lean into the hope that only Jesus provides this Christmas Season!
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