This is the first week of Advent. I didn’t grow up in a church tradition that celebrated Advent. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve learned more about the practice of Advent and what it really  means.

I fear I’ve been missing out.

As we light the first candle of Advent this week, we are reminded of God’s promise that the Messiah would come to bring peace and love to the world.

God’s Plan

God’s plan for Jesus to come to the earth to save us seems crazy. Why would God send His only Son and why would Jesus agree to come? But this plan tells us that God has always wanted us to remain close to Him. The plan shows us that He will stop at nothing to get our attention and draw us ever closer. Even if that means sacrificing His own Son.

He loves us just that much. And we are worth it to Him.

This plan gives us hope. Hope for us in eternity, for sure. But also hope for us here on this earth. The plan shows us that God can use anything to accomplish His purposes. It reminds us that there is a purpose to this life. And it’s a promise that eternity with Him will be move than we can ask or imagine.

The Light of Advent

Jesus, as the Light of Advent, shines on our lives to expose the secrets of the darkest places of our soul. But don’t ever think that’s done out of the desire to shame us. No, it’s done out of the desire to heal us. As He shines His light on our hearts, the secrets are brought into the light where they lose their power over us. 

Then Jesus’ light can shine through us to affect those around us. Because of that Light, we have the ability to give grace, to bring joy, and to genuinely care about those around us.

The testimony today is that just when we feel like we’ve fallen into a rut, the Light shines forth to bring us back into His presence. And in this Light, we can confess and receive forgiveness.

Maybe we need the Light of Advent every day and every season of the year.

This year, I’m using Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional by my friend, Asheritah Ciuciu, as my study guide. 

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Holly Barrett

Enter the gates with thanksgiving
LRL 070 - Cynthia Stuckey