November 28, 2011

His Coming

Christmas is hands down my favorite time of the year. I know that can sound cliche to so many, but it's the honest truth. Even my own name reflects it. Natalie is derived from the Italian language, usually translating to Christmas child, merry Christmas, or Christ's birthday. What kind of person would I be if I didn't live up to that? ;)

Time changes during the holiday season. It's strange, but for 25 days out of the year time is not broken down into past, present, and future, but rather it's a melting of all three into one. The past brings that same excitement and anticipation I had as a kid. (Yes, I still have a hard time sleeping on Christmas Eve.) The present allows me to feel like I'm fully alive and living in the moment. And the future... I look to the future of when I'll have my own children someday and will have the great honor of instilling that same joy, wonder, and awe my parents gave to me and my sister. I anticipate the passing down of traditions and starting new ones, but most importantly... pointing to His coming. This is what Advent means. The Coming.

Few people celebrate Advent, and for those of us who do, I'm not sure we totally grasp what we're doing all the time. We may open the doors on our Advent calendars finding some sweet treat or Bible verse, or perhaps we light a candle on the wreath with each passing week, but do we really celebrate His coming with each day during the season?

One of the major purposes of Advent is to reflect on Christ coming to earth and taking on human flesh. God Incarnate dwelling among His people. When I stop and ponder on this fact alone it's a little mind blowing. But that's not all... Advent serves as the opportunity to reflect on how Christ has come to dwell within me. I think it may have been what Oswald Chambers meant when he asked, "Have I allowed my personal human life to become a 'Bethlehem' for the son of God?" Do you and I allow ourselves to be a home for this Savior? Will we allow this Christ to rule and reign in our hearts, our minds, and our spirits? For this is the very reason He came in the first place. Immanuel, God with us. God came to be with us. For hundreds of years God's people awaited the arrival of the Messiah. In some ways you and I are not so different as those Israelites, for we now wait and watch for the second coming. Christmas is but a shadow of something far greater. This is why some of us who celebrate and observe Advent will say there's a bit of bitterness to the season. For we were not made to chase shadows, but rather what the shadows prove. Shadows prove that there is something greater. Something real. Something alive. The shadow is to point to the Christ. He is what we are to chase after. And it's not just during this season of good will and cheer, but for all our days. In order for Christmas to hold any genuine, lasting value, we must seek out the King just as the Wise Men and the Shepherds did. Yes, we have the freedom to enjoy the shadows, but remember that their ultimate purpose is to direct us to the thing that does last all year, every year. Once we take hold of this truth, Christmas holds much more depth and grandeur for you and I. So during this Advent season seek Him, for He is Coming.

Great Books on Celebrating Advent...

7 comments :

  1. this was really useful to me! Thanks girl

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  2. I just talked with my students today about the meaning of Advent and it was a good reminder for me as well that we need to continue to prepare for his return. :)

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  3. Wow, I loved the shadow metaphors. Christmas is definitely my favorite time of year also. It's one of the few times in life people are alright with waiting because they know the thing on the other side is well worth their patience.

    And posting a list of books having to do with Advent is like an early Christmas present! Thank you.

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  4. beautiful, i love and admire you and y our faith.

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  5. i'm glad I stumbled upon your blog from Arielle's beautiful journey blog! :) I loved the video on your sidebar on top!

    keep the faith!
    www.firmlyendure.blogspot.com

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  6. this is so great!! never knew what advent really was. i love the anticipation and the build up to christmas...and yes i never sleep well on christmas eve either :-P thanks so much for sharing these :)

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  7. Amazing post :) Jesus is a wonderful Saviour x

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