According to Google, the word ‘advent’ means “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.” As Christians, we celebrate the advent of Jesus Christ the four weeks leading up to Christmas. During this time, we should reflect on the implications of a God who would enter into our world as a servant rather than as a king.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the first thing that comes to our minds during the Christmas season. It’s easy to accidentally focus upon Christmas trees, candy canes, parties and presents instead. These are all good things, but, if we’re not careful, they can overshadow the more important elements of Christmas.
It’s not always easy to have the right focus though, especially in a world where we have so many things vying for our attentions.
So, how are we supposed to keep Christ at the forefront of our minds during this busy season? Try asking yourself the following questions and meditating on them:
1. What might it have been like for God to enter into our world after being in Heaven?
We tend to look at life from the perspective of going from Earth to heaven. Instead, flip it around and consider how it might have been for God to go from heaven to Earth. Remember that Jesus is eternal, and He knew the very real difference between the two ahead of time.
2. God became a human. What are some of the differences between God and humanity?
The very definition of what it means to be God makes the Incarnation hard to fathom. The limitless God willingly becoming a human. Write a list comparing some of the characteristics of God and humanity.
3. What type of love would it require to send your Son to die for sinful humans?
Again, think about the incarnation from God’s perspective. Consider the characteristics of His love that would compel Him to sacrifice His Son to die for people who don’t even deserve it.
4. What kind of love did it take for Jesus to obey the Father and enter this world to pay for our sins?
Now, think about the topic of love from Jesus’ perspective. He followed through with the mission that God sent Him to do, and He did it with obedience and respect for His Father. His obedience showed not only His love for humanity, but also His love for the Father.
5. What was it like for Jesus to put up with humans who didn’t even recognize Him for who He really was?
There are numerous instances in the four Gospels where humans rejected Jesus and chose not to believe in His divinity. Try to imagine what it would have been like to not be taken seriously. Even when He was performing signs and wonders, people still rejected Him.
6. What miracle in the Bible comes the closest to the greatness of God becoming man?
When we think about miracles, we often go straight to things like Jesus turning water into wine or Lazarus being raised from the dead. What about the fact that God literally became a man? A we already pondered over in question 2, think about this powerful miracle and the weight it carries.
My hope for you during this Christmas season is for you to become more fully aware of the gift of Jesus Christ and the wonder of His advent.