Growing up, the only thing I knew of Advent was that starting on December 1st I got to tear open a little cardboard door on a giant, festive calendar that held a piece of chocolate that I got to eat every day of the month leading up to Christmas. Being raised in various “non-denominational” environments didn’t lend itself to much talk about the greater Church calendar and its events. I really though it was kind of just like pre-gaming for Christmas, right?

Based on conversations I’ve had of late, it seems like most of us are in that boat.

It wasn’t until my late high school years that I was introduced to a more meaningful understanding of Advent and with every Christmas since then, it continues to be one of the most genuinely special times of the year.

So if you’re not hype on Advent yet, don’t worry. You’re not alone. But stay tuned because I really believe the next few weeks can be transformational for all of us as we uncover what advent is all about.

First let’s set the scene, then next week we’ll get into the nitty gritty.

The word Advent means “arrival” or “coming.” It can also be understood to mean “anticipation or expectation of an arrival or coming.”

Essentially Advent is a period of time, a discipline/ practice / posture of heart of waiting with anticipation for the arrival of the savior of the world- of Jesus.

Where this gets a little muddy for us is the fact that Jesus already came, so it might sound a little silly to “wait” for him. But this isn’t about us.

For the OG’s of Advent (our Israelite pals in the Old Testament), they wait FOUR HUNDRED YEARS for Jesus. They spent 4 centuries waiting for God to come through on His promise of a Savior. Generations came and passed, came and passed and still nothing.

Could you even imagine trying to stay faithful to a God who’s promise for your salvation didn’t even get completed in your life time?

Yet they waited. With hope. With anticipation. With expectancy.

For just a second, imagine it was you waiting that long, hoping that long, wondering if God was really there, if He really was a promise keeper and not just a promise maker. And then, after 400 years, a baby’s cry breaks the silence.

Peace. Joy. Rescue. Relief. The Savior had come. And He changed everything changed when He did…

Is the story starting to sound a little more familiar now? We’ve all waited. Wondered. Been disappointed.

Jesus broke a 400-year-long silence through the cry of a baby 2,000 years ago. He tore through the night, shedding light on centuries of doubt. With the arrival of rescue, peace, and joy.

And He’s still in the business of “arriving” today. He’s coming for you. He’s coming for me.

And next week we’re going to talk about why it matters how we wait for Him to make good on that promise.

Hang on. Hope is coming.