Advent means “coming”. It is a season many Christians practice for the four weeks prior to Christmas. According to Wikipedia it is “a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for His Second Coming.”
I’ve never thought much about Advent. I’m not sure why. But this year I decided I would. Any practice that helps me reflect more on Jesus is a good one.
I’m using three devotionals during my quiet times, all of which bring a slightly different perspective and use different Bible verses to reflect on Jesus.
This week I read a mighty piece from Ann Voskamp. I am using her Advent devotional as one of the three; however, this piece was from one of her regular posts. I’d encourage you read the entire post.
Ann was sitting in church listening to her daughters’ choir sing Christmas carols whilst reflecting on the hurts and sadness that she knew others in the audience were suffering.
The words from one of the songs capture her thoughts:
“I will open my hands, will open my heart…”
How does one expose their heart when there is so much suffering, how can one stop an open heart from being hurt?
But God has promised, “He will withhold no good thing from us.” (Psalm 84:11)
Even through the horrible times of sickness, loss, unemployment, death, rejection, divorce, and so on.
Too often we look to the worldly, to the natural to be the “good things.” But Ann sums up God’s answer to our sufferings in such a beautiful way, which I quote verbatim:
“And the good things in life are not so much health but holiness, not so much the riches of this world but relationship with God, not so much our plans but His presence — and He withholds no good thing from us because the greatest things aren’t ever things.”
God gives us Himself, Jesus.
“Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
Christmas. God gives us Immanuel, “God is with us.”
This is what Christmas is about.
God is with us.