ADVENT PEOPLE                                    Dr. Joseph Stowell
A Voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; Make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3)
Before long, friends will be asking. “Are you ready for Christmas? For people of the Advent, there is more to that question than most of us realize.
Throughout the history of the Church Christmas has been referred to as the Advent of Christ.
The word advent means “coming,” and there has never been, in the history of the world, a more strategic coming than His. The Old Testament heralds His coming, and John the Baptist fulfilled the words of Isaiah the prophet when he called Israel to prepare the way for the arrival of their King.
While He has already come and conquered, the celebration of Christmas is a perfect time to make a highway for our Lord in the confused and often difficult wilderness of our own lives. What better time than Christmas for us to focus on the gifts and profound grace that surround His coming and to “strike up the band” of our hearts to celebrate Him as our King; to renew our desire to make a way for Him in our relationships, wills, plans, hopes, and dreams.
And while we are thinking of Advent, it’s hard to escape the thought that He is coming back again and will once and for all put away sorrow, pain, failure, and confusion; and take us to His home, where there is joy forever in His presence. Advent people purify their lives to prepare for this glorious event (1 John 3:1-3).
The next time you are asked, “Are you ready for Christmas?” remember that being “ready” is about much more than your “to do” list. So set down those packages and that tangled string of Christmas lights. Fix your heart on the wonder of God’s visiting our planet, and remember that the tiny baby who entered the world so quietly on that first Christmas Day will one day come again triumphantly to take you home at last.