Time to prepare as Advent starts Christmas
This past Sunday started the Liturgical Christmas Season. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Black Friday is not the official start of Christmas, no matter what Walmart says. No, this past Sunday was the start of the pre-Christmas Season, or Advent.
It is during Advent that we look to the Bible to see what to expect. During these next four weeks we actually look into the Old Testament to find out what is coming. Yes, the Old Testament.
You see, the Old Testament, or the Hebrew Text, as some will call it, is full of prophesies of the birth and life of Christ. It is in the Old Testament that we find mention of the son of David and the root of Jesse. The Hebrew part of the Bible points to the eventual salvation that Christ will provide.
Take for instance Isaiah 2:1-5, (Iíll let you look that up) It talks about what this new leader is going to do and the life we can look forward to. It is a vision that is in the process of coming to completion. This isnít the only place we can look for the times to come. Jeremiah, Daniel, Psalm, and all of the prophets point to Christ, to mercy, to forgiveness and to hope in the future.
And I think this is the point, Hope. You see, throughout much of history, the Jewish people have been persecuted, ostracized and marginalized. There have been and still are periods of attempted genocide. If any people needed hope, it was the Jewish nation.
On top of that, the Jewish nation was chosen by God to lead the world back to a relationship with our creator. From the very beginning, they were to be a people who lead people to God. So, they were the chosen people, chosen for the task of redeeming the world. But they tended to forget and got lost on the path. The prophets came out to remind them and to help them regain their sense of direction. Sometimes it helped, more often it did not.
So, this is why we are here, preparing for the birth of the ultimate redeemer. Jesus, the priceless gift promised throughout the pre-Christian text.
During these coming days it is time to prepare. Not with tinsel, presents and food. Itís time to prepare our hearts and souls to receive the true gift of God. Jesus didnít come here to offer riches and parties; he came here to save you and me from our sins. He came to do what we are not capable of doing. He is still offering forgiveness, hope and love.
In the coming weeks, do not neglect church. Go and find out why God sent his son. Go and find out how long the world has looked forward to this gift. Go and find out just how precious a gift we have been given. Open your Bible and read for yourself the prophecies that have led and still lead to our redemption.
And then, take the gift, make it your own. After that, offer to others, share the story, let people know how great a gift God has given to all of us. God Bless and Iíll see you in church.