Even though I did not grow up in a local congregation which observed "Advent"--we thought that was too "high church"--we always did observe Christmas.
Only after I entered the United States Air Force, did I participate in "Advent" celebrations in our worship gatherings. I love the anticipation and the profoundly deep meaning associated with observing the Advent season.
I can't remember the Christmas holidays ever being a time of joy in our household. Growing up worse than poor (by today's American standards), it was one of those times of year that came around---every year---and we were glad to see it come, and even more glad to see it go. I can remember many, many times not having a Christmas tree, and even more times, having NOTHING under the tree. That's just how it was....
But, now I realize that God's hand, let me repeat that, GOD'S HAND, has been in my life all along.
The Advent Season reminds me that HIS mercies are indeed new every morning. My friend, Pastor Larry Duncan, says that "before I even wake up in the morning, God has already planned a new way to show me His mercies." I really, really like that concept.
The Advent season reminds me that before Christ came to earth as a baby in a barn, He was very, very active in human history--something my pastor (Erwin Lutzer) reminded all of us in a sermon two weeks ago.
The Advent season reminds me that God really did love this world SO MUCH that He would do something that NO ONE else could have ever done...send His Son to die...the very purpose for the Son's coming.
The Advent season reminds me that when the storms are raging all around us, that "the peace of Christ rules in our hearts...." Christ rules....and when He rules, He brings His peace.
The Advent season reminds me that this God Man slept in a boat, thirsted at a well, walked dusty roads, went fishing, attended weddings, was the "life of the party", and was eventually the talk of the town.
The Advent season reminds me that JESUS IS COMING AGAIN! I long for His return.