The term “Advent” is derived from the Latin word “adventus,” which means “coming” or “arrival.” It’s a season of longing, looking forward to the arrival of the Lord.
When we talk about the coming of Jesus during Advent, we encompass three dimensions of this arrival: the past coming, commemorating the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ more than 2,000 years ago; the present coming, signifying God’s entry into our lives when we choose to place our trust in Him; and the future coming, a belief in God’s upcoming return to fulfill His redemptive work and renew all things.
Why Advent Matters
Advent serves as a season of both reflection and anticipation. It reminds us of the profound need for children and youth worldwide to have access to God’s story. At OneHope, we work with local churches globally to share God’s Word with children and youth, allowing them to experience His peace, joy, love, and hope.
The Culminating Theme of Advent
As we journey through the season of Advent, we find ourselves nearing the last day, focusing on the theme of love. Love, the culminating theme of Advent, serves as the cornerstone of the divine promise made to David and his lineage.
Let’s delve into the profound implications of God’s promise, its impact on the people of Israel, and how it culminated in the birth of Jesus, the fulfillment of God’s enduring love.
God’s love for David serves as a reflection of His love for the entire nation of Israel, and His love for Israel mirrors His boundless love for all of humanity. A pivotal moment unfolds when the Babylonian empire conquers Israel over five centuries before the era of Jesus, causing the lineage of David to lose its earthly kingdom.
During their exile, the people of God clung to the promise made to David, contemplating whether and when God would fulfill this pledge and restore His Kingdom and King for all eternity. Even upon the return of the Jewish people to their homeland, they endured foreign occupation—from Persia to Greece to Rome—all while pondering and eagerly awaiting the fulfillment of God’s promise. For, if God’s promise remains unfulfilled, then His love, not only for David and Israel but also for the entire world, might be called into question.
Then, one extraordinary day, an angelic visitation descends upon a humble Nazarene girl named Mary. The angel proclaims that the time has come for the son of David, who is also the Son of God, to be born. He will usher in an everlasting kingdom.
Mary serves as a poignant symbol, representing the collective anticipation of the people of Israel. She carries within her womb the hope of Israel, the promised child, the Messiah. God’s promise is realized; His love remains steadfast, and we, like Mary, must patiently await the advent of that promised time.
During the Advent season, we align ourselves with Mary’s expectant waiting and trust in God’s unwavering love. It is a season of anticipation and hope, as we believe that God’s love, as exemplified in the birth of Jesus, transcends time and fills our lives with profound and enduring love.
Just as you will give and receive Christmas gifts, consider how you can also share the gift of Jesus with those who may not yet know Him during this Advent season. Share the light of Christ’s love with others through your actions and words. Pray for children, youth, and families worldwide to experience the love of Christ.
Though the last day of Advent is coming soon, this time of reflection can be done over any five days during the Christmas season. Download “Advent: Celebrating Christ’s Arrival,” my free Advent devotional guide, to dive into various Scriptures, each corresponding to one of four spiritual themes of hope, peace, joy, and love. These themes guide us through a period of preparation, deepening our understanding of how we are called to await the coming of the Lord.
Access your Advent devotional at onehope.net/2023-advent-devotional/
Rob is President of OneHope. His innovative Outcome Based Ministry model and training has helped thousands of global ministries shift their paradigm and begin incorporating best practices that dramatically increase their effectiveness.
Read more by Rob Hoskins at goodnewsfl.org/author/rob-hoskins/