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Advent Invitation

Wow, can you believe we’ve rolled around to December already again? Time to get out the Christmas decorations and start making lists! How come Christmas gets here so fast now that I’m all grown up?

When I was a little girl, it seemed Christmas took forever arriving.  

Remember your childhood impatience when the year stretched long, but finally you could see Christmas approaching on the wall calendar? When I saw the day marked in bold letters, I immediately associated it with brightly wrapped gifts, colorful lights, and familiar carols—I couldn’t wait!

This year, let your childhood anticipation and excitement for Christmas be surpassed by another type of waiting; waiting for Him.

This month, as we enter the Christmas season, I want it to be about much more than lights and shopping. I want to experience Advent with you here on the blog! The Christmas season of Advent actually begins four Sundays before Christmas. But any date on the calendar is the right time to begin turning your heart and focus toward the One who brings us this special season. 

Advent means “approach” or “coming.” Celebrating Advent gives us the opportunity to thoughtfully reflect on the first coming of our Lord to the world as the infant King. The Advent season can also serve as an encouragement to continually abide in Christ’s presence through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And finally, Advent encourages us to anticipate Jesus’ final coming which we see in Revelation 19.

Advent is a season of joy-filled, confident expectancy.  

The Old Testaments saints waited.

The prophets waited.

Anna waited.

Anna waited for her Redeemer to appear, and on a day which began much like all the days she’d experienced before, she encountered Him as she was faithfully serving. God in infant flesh:

[box]And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “EVERY firstborn MALE THAT OPENS THE WOMB SHALL BE CALLED HOLY TO THE LORD”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord . . .

 And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2)[/box]

Let’s follow Anna’s example. Will you pause a moment today? Turn your inward gaze toward the Infant King who no longer lies in a humble stable, but stands at the right hand of the Father and ever lives to make intercession for you.

Voice your thanks to Him.

Let your heart revel in the works He’s performed, in the power of the gospel, and in His lovingkindness toward you.

In this season of hurried activity, bustle and noise, you will have many opportunities to wait. Long lines at the grocery, long lines on the busy streets, long waits on phone lines with computerized voices asking us to please “hold.” Each time you’re asked to wait this season, use that as an Advent moment, a moment to turn your heart toward Him in anticipation of His return and in memory of His first coming.

Let’s worship as we wait.

6 Comments

  • Vicki

    Hi Kim,

    I have never before purposefully observed Advent, so I’ve a lot to learn, but intend to at least get my feet wet this year. I did start on December 1 with pondering the foundation of our hope and now am meditating on the names given in Isaiah 9:6 – one each day. I appreciate your practical idea of turning our waiting moments into Advent moments. I glean so much from your blog! Thanks!!

    Waiting with you for our Hope!

    Vicki

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Vicki ~

    I’m so glad you’ve already started on this project, and Isaiah 9:6 is the perfect spot to begin!

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words about the blog. That is my daily prayer, that God would use this blog to minister to women, to draw them closer to Christ, and inspire them to apply the truth of the Word in practical ways to their lives. May He receive great glory from our faith journeys here!

    “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

    May this be a most significant Advent season for you, friend ~

  • Vivian Etherington

    We are reading John Piper’s Good News of Great Joy free download, readings for advent, in our family. The preface was one of the best parts! Also, last night as I taught the wrap-up lesson in ladies Bible study, I really challenged the women to focus their hearts on Christ and make the most of this advent season! I challenged them not to go to broken cisterns for satisfaction, bit to the Living Water, to the Living Word of God! I read to them the lyrics to one of the most meaningful Christmas songs to me: Shannon Wexelberg wrote it, Love Came for Me! Here are the first two verses and chorus :
    If You had not come, tender baby King and humbly left Your throne to reach someone like me; if You had not walked upon this broken ground, where on earth would I be now? if you had not come. If You had not come to seek the sick and lame, to set the captive free, to break the prisoner’s chains, I’d still be in the dark grappling for the door, longing for some way, somehow (but….) Love came for me. Love rescued me. Love called my name. Love took my place. Sweet Lamb of God, I’m bowing down; my eyes have seen; I’m finally free. Love came for me!
    This song is a free download on her website right now.
    One of Nancy’s most meaningful Christmas-related series on ROH for me is Zechariah’s Song, which aired in December a few years ago. I just wanted to mention that for any readers of your blog. It can be accessed on the ROH website under past programs. It is a great resource for focusing our hearts during this Advent season.

  • Vicki

    Thank you, Kim! That verse – Romans 15:13 – is the one that I’ve been praying for the past two years for a couple family members who have been spiritually struggling. What a gracious God to lay it on your heart to share with me!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Wow, thanks Viv, for passing on all of these great resources! I’m going to check out some of these 🙂

    Hope you and your family are having an enjoyable Advent season dear friend!