Advent – A Time of Preparation

By Robyn Bailey

It’s that time of year when we look forward to seeing what the newest Starbucks menu is going to present to us – the hungry shoppers all over the world. This time of the year presents us with anxiety as we stare down the long line of shops hoping to find the bargain that was promised to us in the advertisements on television. But what is the point of this Christmas season? What is the point of the craziness that we put ourselves through?

As a Church, we are entering into a time of preparation as we journey towards one of the biggest solemnities in the Church. Whilst many people are anticipating the coming of sales and Starbuck coffee, Christians anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ. But what does this all mean? It is something much more than just remembrance of someone who used to live here on Earth. Christmas is not just a memorial of a person but rather a glorious celebration of the reality of Christ – the Person on whom our lives are built.

Mary’s simple and humble “yes” was the first step in salvation for all of humankind. It was that moment when everyone’s lives were transformed. It was the start of a time in which God would physically walk the Earth through His Son to lead us into eternal light. However, many people tend to jump to the end of this chapter of Jesus and forget or take for granted the reason for this season. It is easy to remember that God came down to Earth to die a horrific death on the cross in order to save us, which is so true. But John 3:16 emphasizes a different reason for the season of Advent: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

How easy is it to say this? “God loved me so much that He gave His only Son.” I don’t know about you but right now my heart is doing back flips! How could God could love us so much? That powerful, unconditional love is spoken of so often, but how much does that settle within us? How much do we let this transformative love settle in our hearts?

In order to attempt to comprehend and appreciate this mighty love, we need to take a step back to peel back all of our layers until we find God inside of us. Peel back our pride, our insecurities, our pain, and our desires. Peel back each layer in order to see our Creator inside of us. It is important to add that we do not have to remove these layers. In fact, some of these layers are exactly what God wants inside of us. We can recognize God in these layers when we recognize Him in our very core.

Let’s take a step back into this love for a minute. Join me in this season of Advent to peel back the layers, to seek God and His love in our hearts, and to anticipate the product of God’s love in our lives, Jesus Christ.