The Season of Advent is upon us again but what is Advent and what does this word Advent mean, and even more importantly, what is its significance?
The church many years ago laid aside and set aside, these four Sundays before Christmas and called this season the Season of Advent. That is a very easy thing to do, but I wonder if many realize where all this comes from!
What does Advent mean? It means the glory of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It signifies the breaking of the divine into human history. The supernatural broke into the natural.
It means something great impending from the side of heaven.
The world is blundering in a morass of sin and sorrow and sadness and suffering.
Economically and financially we are on the edge of precipice and it appears to be the result of deceit and corruption and arrogance and greed and gross mismanagement!
Never before in my lifetime have we needed a significant Advent. We need a breakthrough from Almighty God to deal with the sin that has permeated every area of life.
Here and there, there are lights shining in the darkness, and please God, may where we worship and seek to testify to Christ and be a faithful witness be one of the places!
God is marching on.
We meet people with their personal problems, and there are brave faces hiding sore hearts. There are secret wounds that ache. There is a restlessness where peace is almost impossible.
Life is harder for some than we in Christ can dare to imagine.
Some think that if there is a God then He has forgotten them, or He has walked by them, or He is just not interested in them. That has happened in our nation.
Be still thy soul. We would want to say to such troubled men and women.
Advent is when Jesus Christ breaks through!
It has nothing to do with these four Sundays although that may help some.
It has nothing to do with lighting a candle or that may help some.
It has to do with Jesus Christ breaking through. It has to do with Almighty God breaking through into some troubled tortured life that is turmoil, and that can be the result of a multiplicity of reasons and causes.
Sometimes the hymns and Psalms and music we sing can break us through to God more than clever sermons, although we need feeding from the Word of God.
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland. He has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, 12 visits to Israel, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland", as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly.
Sandy Shaw articles gies a picture of waiting Jesus in w holistic way which more that rituals but to have an steadfast spirit in coming of Jesus in our midst.