During the end of the year we have such a joy of focusing on Advent. Advent means, “the appearance” or “the coming.” In more contemporary terms, it just means “showing up!” Usually it has to do with a significant moment or experience – and of course the coming of the Son of God to the world was a significant moment. But think about the many other significant “appearances” that we celebrate.
Do you remember the advent of the light bulb? It brought continuous light to dark places. The effect was that people started working late into the night. What about the advent of the telephone? It brought instant communication over long distances. The effect was to speed up life and business. Or another one – the advent of air-conditioning? It brought cool air to hot places. The effect was that in some places people stayed indoors and didn’t socialize on their front porches with iced tea and fans. You could go on and on thinking of how the advent of so many things brought certain qualities that had an effect on people.
During the season of Advent we focus on anticipating the appearance or coming of Jesus the Christ. We have that pretty well defined. You’ve heard countless sermons, lessons, devotionals, and songs that depict the coming of the Messiah and the impact that had on the world. Jesus brought grace and truth; He brought the glory of God; and access to salvation. The effect of what He brought is abundant life; wholeness; proximity to God where His image in us is restored. What a blessing! What an advent.
Now here’s the hard question…what about your own advent? When you show up what is the impact? Does your appearance bring something with it? And is there a commensurate effect on those around you? Does everything stay the same? Or when you appear is there a greater measure of the presence and grace and truth of Jesus Christ that impacts your surroundings?
When you appear the moment should be impactful – if the living Christ is within you. The effect will make a difference as the gentle grace, love, forgiveness and quiet confidence of Christ is reflected in you. What’s the effect of your advent?