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O’Come, O’Come Emmanuel!

I grew up in a Christian home with a history of many generations of family on each side that would consider themselves followers of Christ.  Because we worshiped in a Baptist church, we never practiced all the liturgical parts of the Christian faith that many other denominations practice.  Needless to say, I didn’t know much about Advent.  As an adult, I have come to value some of these traditions of the faith, like Advent.   I have come to appreciate the desire to focus myself on what this holiday is declaring.  Christmas is a highly symbolic holiday.  I hope that it brings me and you to a place of worship.

I have no doubt that Christmastime is always a special time for most everyone and moreover so for those of us who are followers of Jesus. Christmas is celebrated all across this planet in a variety of ways. Families have traditions that are often passed down from generation to generation.

Sometimes the traditions are not even understood by younger family members but are practiced and celebrated anyway.  Churches and religions have traditions too. One such tradition practiced by many religions is the Advent Season.  But what does “Advent” mean?  The word “advent” comes from the Latin “adventus” meaning “arrival” or “coming,” particularly of something having great importance. The first coming of Jesus Christ was the most significant historical event that has ever occurred.  The “arrival” of the promised Messiah has changed the world forever.

You are probably aware that Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas Day.  Advent means ‘Coming’ in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world.  Many Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.
Interestingly, there are three meanings of ‘coming’ that Christians describe in Advent.  The first, and most thought of, happened over 2000 years ago when Jesus came into the world as a baby to live as a man and die for us. The second can happen now as Jesus wants to come into our lives now.  And the third will happen in the future when Jesus comes back to the world as King and Judge, not a baby.  Knowing this has given me a newfound love for an already beloved Christmas hymn, ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel!’

As a believer I want to absorb everything this holiday represents.   I want t to look forward to Jesus.  I want to look forward to his birth.  Furthermore, I want to look forward to his coming again.  I hope that the symbolism of Advent will help me meditate more on what Jesus means to me and the world.  I want to better recognize his authority as the King of Kings.  I am thankful that I have a source of truth in a culture that doesn’t recognize the existence of Truth.  I want to revel in the miracle of the Virgin Mary’s giving birth to Jesus Christ.  And, I want to be able to share the good news and prepare myself for the teaching of Jesus Christ in anticipation of His return.  Will you join me in celebrating all that is yet to come because of what Jesus Christ did for us?


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