Advent begins on Sunday. Having attended both a liturgical church and an anti-liturgical (yep, I said anti) church, I have an internal see-saw on how I feel about the season.
I think it is a great thing to have a time of expectation and waiting for Christ. It can be a time of peace and hope. It can be a time of development and appreciation for the gift of Christ. It can certainly be a time of focusing on Him and not consumerism. Advent traditions in family can bond and heal us. God is where we invite Him, and advent activities will do that too.
I think too though that by focusing on the Christ child, there is too much time when we don’t allow the child to grow into the man, friend, savior, and redeemer that He is today. We leave him as a helpless babe in the manger. And this time lasts almost one month every year. It is a disproportionate amount of time to spend thinking of the child. When we celebrate birthdays, we may reflect on the birth, but we usually consider the year past and look to the year coming.
Christ has already come into the world. Birthdays are celebrated in most of the world today, and Christ is so important to us and lives today – so I embrace celebrating his birth annually. But I think we need to remember that even on December 3rd or 15th or 20th, our Christ is still the God-and-man who lives. He lives in us and through us.
Christ’s birth changed the world as we now it today; not just 2000 years ago. Let’s focus on His impact for today while recalling the gift we have received in Him.