Advent is from the Latin word meaning “coming.” It has many profound and symbolic meanings, with varying points of view depending on our personal perception or preferences.
Looking back. Some 2000 years ago God decided to divinely intervene into man’s existence with His physical presence and the Word proclaimed by the prophets of old “took flesh and lived among us.”
Not many understood its meaning and even the nation prepared by God for this event, Israel, was not exactly welcoming and “had no room at the inn” for the Messiah, the Anointed one of God. Sadly, mankind “did not know the hour of His visitation” and the leaders of the chosen people, representing and including us all, crucified the “Author of Life” – Jesus of Nazareth.
Advent, therefore, invites us to reflect on what God had done, and continues to do, in order to save us from our own self-destructive folly. It is the anchor that steadies our faith in a turbulent world – that no matter what – God loves us with an eternal love that only He can give.
Looking inward. We are so undeserving of God’s unconditional love and yet, ever so mysteriously, He continues to love us so. Sinful as we are, “for all have come short of the glory of God,” He never stops in reaching out to us and waiting for us “to come home” to His loving embrace. Advent invites us to be grateful and to give thanks to Him to whom we owe so much and everything else.
Looking forward. Advent gives us hope – the faith that “all things work out for the good for those who love God” for He alone knows the plans He has prepared for His beloved children. We all have our own dreams and plans for the betterment of the family, careers, health, community, society and many other things besides. But His will is for our good and we need to re-align our own will to His to benefit abundantly that we may “experience joy to the full” as He has promised. As the Psalmist used to pray, “Wait on the Lord, trust, and wait.”
Looking outward. The world is in great turmoil. Mankind still “has no room at the inn” and the hour of darkness “and the violent take it by force” is in our midst. We, in Couples for Christ and its Family Ministries, are called to be “a light to the nations” that somehow the Gospel of Jesus Christ still holds true for those who accept the message of God’s love. The rejection of the world is strong and a big challenge but we need to keep the faith and continue to run the course for “the crown of glory” that awaits us at the end of our days.
Maranatha – come, Lord Jesus Christ, come and save us.