Updated: Dec 12, 2021
This is the season of Advent-a season of hope, love, joy, and peace. Advent lasts the four Sundays leading up to Christmas and is the celebration of Jesus' birth and the hope of His second coming. It is a time of remembrance and anticipation.
This season is filled with beautiful lights and decorations, shopping, and family gatherings. Also during this season, we are bombarded with symbols of Christmas such as Santa Claus, reindeer, and snowmen. Many Christians consider these symbols as fun and harmless; nevertheless, we must be careful that we don't allow them to overshadow the true meaning of Christmas which is the celebration of Jesus' birth-the first Advent. We celebrate Jesus coming to save us from our sins: "She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Jesus not only came to save us from our sins, but to also prepare us for the second advent or His second coming: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 14:3). Just as Jesus was born in a lowly manger that first advent, He will return again with all power and glory. Thus, Advent is a celebration of the hope that we have in Jesus' glorious, triumphant return. Titus 2:11-13 tells us that we should live godly lives in this present age while waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus’ return will be blessed and amazing for all believers. No matter what we see around us-pandemic, sickness, death, hate, wars-we are assured in the fact that Jesus is our hope and that His second advent will deliver us from the pain and suffering of this present world: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).
As we decorate our Christmas trees and hang our lights and garland, let us also celebrate and light the advent candles of hope, joy, love, and peace. We hope for and anticipate Jesus' return. As we expectantly wait, may our hearts be filled with joy knowing that God loves us so much that He gave His only Son as a ransom for our sins, and may we find the peace of Jesus in all of life's circumstances. Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace are lights that shine in the darkness. During Advent and throughout the year, may we celebrate the hope, joy, love, and peace that we find in Jesus.