When the Christmas season well and truly begins.
The word advent comes from the Latin advenire/“come to [someplace].” Who’s coming to someplace? Jesus. Coming to earth. Either the first time around, around the year 7
Four Sundays before Christmas is
Many Evangelicals only know about advent from commercial advent calendars, which count down to Christmas from 1 December instead of the ever-changing date of Advent Sunday. Each “day” on these calendars usually contain a surprise; preferably chocolate. And manufacturers don’t want to keep changing the product every single year. So you’re kinda stuck with 25 chocolates, even though some years you oughta get as many as 28. But that’s what happens when Mammonists get to decide when the Christmas season begins.
Of course, commercializing the tradition is an irritating way to remember it, ’cause the point of advent is to be the antidote to rampant materialism. We’re to focus on Jesus. Not social custom. Not gift-giving. Not all the stuff we’re expected to do every single year. Jesus. We claim he’s the reason for the season; now it’s time to take that saying seriously, instead of using it as an excuse to browbeat clerks into telling us “Merry Christmas” like we prefer.
Part of getting ready for Jesus’s second advent is to stop being this sort of argumentative, frenzied, self-focused consumers, and start behaving like he’s coming back. ’Cause he is. Maybe not for the whole world just yet; he’s still trying to save everybody. But at some point you’re gonna die. (As will I. As will everyone.) So he’s coming for you personally. Are you ready?
Luke 12.35-48 KWL
- 35 “Be people whose toolbelts are on, whose lamps are burning.
- 36 You should be like people waiting for their own master when he returns from weddings:
- He arrives, knocks, and they can quickly unlock the door for him.
- 37 These slaves are awesome. The returning master will find them alert.
- Amen, I promise you the master will put on a towel and have them recline to eat,
- and he’ll come in to serve them.
- 38 Even at the second hour after sunrise, even at the third, he can come and find them ready.
- These slaves are awesome.
- 39 (You should know: If the homeowner knew what time the burglar came,
- he’d never permit him to break into his house.)
- 40 You be ready: The Son of Man comes at the time you don’t expect.”
- 41 Simon Peter said, “Master, are you saying this parable for us or for everyone?”
- 42 Master Jesus said, “It’s to whoever’s a faithful, wise butler.
- The master puts the butler over his waiters, giving them their trays at the right times.
- 43 This slave is awesome when the master, coming to the butler, will find them doing this job.
- 44 I tell you the truth: The master will put the butler in charge of everything.
- 45 But when this slave says in their mind, ‘My master delays in coming,’
- and might start beating the boys and girls, or eating, drinking, and getting drunk,
- 46 that slave’s master will come on a day they don’t expect, at a time they don’t know,
- and will cut them down to size, and assign them a position with the unreliable slaves.
- 47 That slave who knew their master’s will, and didn’t prepare, nor do his will: They’ll get skinned.
- 48 The one who didn’t know, who did what deserved a smack: They’ll get skinned a little.
- To everyone who’s given much, much is sought from them.
- To those with much set before them, more will be asked back.”
Do you know what our master expects of you? ’Cause he’s coming when we won’t expect.
Each advent season I’m gonna focus on scriptures which are related to advent topics. Namely Jesus’s first coming, and his second.
In 2015 and early 2016, as I was going through the gospels, I wrote about the incarnation and nativity stories.
Word! Jn 1.1-5
Why identifying Jesus as “the word” was so profound to the very first Christians.
Recognizing and embracing the light of the world. Jn 1.1-13
The true light came into the world—and we get to see him.
The word became human, and explains God. Jn 1.14-18
Getting a really good look at God through Jesus.
One heck of a birth announcement. Lk 1.5-25
Gabriel’s announcement to the father of John the baptist.
How Mary became Jesus’s mother. Lk 1.26-38
What sort of person God selected as his mother.
Mary’s visit to Elizabeth. Lk 1.39-56
When Jesus’s mother and John’s mother both prophesied about his coming.
The birth of John the baptist. Lk 1.57-80
And his father’s prophecy about just what sort of man he’d be.
How Joseph became Jesus’s father. Mt 1.18-25
Not foster father. Adoptive father. God commissioned Joseph to raise his Son.
Christ the Savior is born. Lk 2.1-7
The political circumstances at the time Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
The sheep-herders’ vision of the angels. Lk 2.8-20
Jesus came to save everyone. Here, some of the everyone hear the good news.
The prophets who recognized Jesus. Lk 2.21-40
In temple, two prophets confirm who Jesus is to his parents.
The magi and the monstrous king. Mt 2.1-18
When word got out Messiah had been born, people died.
There’s a nice pile of reading material there. More to come.