Today marks the first day in the Advent season, a time of expectant waiting and celebration of the Immanuel…”God with us” in the birth of Jesus Christ and a looking forward to the second coming of Christ. Advent traditions and customs vary in different forms but they all have the same concept of anticipation and waiting leading up to Christmas. I grew up celebrating the Advent season and have many fond memories of this as a child sitting around the family dinner table reading daily devotions and having our family attempting to sing various Christmas songs as we talked about the themes of Hope, Joy, Peace, & Love. It’s a joy to continue this tradition with our girls and family this year using a Jesse Tree (you can google this if you don’t know what it is) for our girls and an Advent devotional called God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I’ll try to share a quote a day from this devotional via Facebook and Twitter…so if you want feel free to follow along and celebrate this Advent season with us!
Here is a longer quote for you today from the devotional of Bonhoeffer’s writings…
“Jesus stands at the door knocking (Rev 3:20). In total reality, he comes in the form of the beggar, of the dissolute human child in ragged clothes, asking for help. He confronts you in every person that you meet. As long as there are people, Christ will walk the earth as your neighbor, as the one through whom God calls you, speaks to you, makes demands on you. That is the great seriousness and great blessedness of the Advent message. Christ is standing at the door; he lives in the form of a human being among us. Do you want to close the door or open it?
…Christ is knocking. It’s still not Christmas, but it’s also still not the great last Advent, the last coming of Christ. Through all the Advents of our life that we celebrate runs the longing for the last Advent, when the word will be, “see, I am making all things new” (Rev 21:5). The Advent season is a season of waiting, but our whole life is an Advent season, that is a season of waiting for the last Advent, for the time when there will be a new heaven and new earth.”