It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Christmas songs are on the radio, houses are being decorated inside and out, the Christmas tree is set up in the church, and the hustle and bustle of Christmas vacation is ramping up. As far as the church year goes, we are into the well-known season of Advent!
And what is Advent all about? First of all, the term “advent” cannot be found in the Bible. It actually came about in the early church (the first observation of Advent is uncertain), and comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming”.
We typically think of this season as a season of preparation, preparing for baby Jesus to be born. Some churches hold off on all Christmas songs until Christmas Day and the couple weeks post-Christmas. But here’s the kicker: Jesus has already been born! There is nothing for us to prepare for (as far as Jesus goes)! We are actually freed from needing to prepare our souls, or needing to hold off on the Christmas hymns, or even from any fasting.
Jesus not only has been born, but also has already come to do what God, the Father, sent Him to do. He came to redeem us, save us, forgive us, from all of our sins and give us eternal life! Paul writes to the Galatians: “4 When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
This is what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown. Yes, we celebrate time with family and friends. Yes, Christmas is a time for joy and love and peace. But when we move all of the light, fluffy snow away from what lies at the bottom of the pile that is the mountain of Christmas traditions, interpretations, and celebrations, we find that it is in fact our Savior and our God that grants us all of these things! What the Son came to do is the reason for the season. It is in His love and mercy that all the other facets of Christmas are even possible.
As you prepare for your various Christmas activities, know this to be true: no matter how anxious you get, or unprepared you may feel, Christ has already come for you. Christ has already taken your sins, died for you, and has been raised for you so that you may have eternal life in His name. There is no more preparing that you need to do, no more preparing that you can even accomplish. You have been redeemed and received by Christ now and forever.
This is most certainly true.