ADVENT Preparing Our Hearts For Christ’s Birth

Shane Jones   -  

“It’s that time, Christmas time is here everybody knows there’s not a better time of year. Hear that sleigh, Santa’s on his way Hip-hip-hooray, for Christmas vacation”

Pause for a moment—should our focus in preparing for Christmas be solely listening for Santa’s sleigh bells, hiding the elf for the children to find, baking cookies, adorning our homes with decorations, and enjoying nostalgic movies like “It’s A Wonderful Life”? As we gear up to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, let’s prepare our hearts In participating in Advent.

What is Advent?

Advent is a season of anticipation and preparation. It’s more than just a tradition; it is a biblical call to reflect on the birth of Christ and prepare our hearts for the celebration. Here are several compelling reasons, grounded in Scripture, for followers of Christ to engage in Advent, prioritizing a deep desire for God over the commercial aspects of Christmas.

Prophetic Fulfillment:

The Old Testament is rich with prophecies about the coming Messiah. Advent reminds us of the fulfillment of these prophecies in the birth of Jesus. Isaiah 7:14 and Micah 5:2 highlight the prophetic fulfillment of the birth of Jesus, emphasizing God’s faithfulness, the unexpected nature of His work, the uniqueness of the Messiah’s birth, and the comforting reality of God being with us. These prophecies invite us to trust in His promises, and live in the awareness of God’s abiding presence.

A Time of Reflection:

Advent is an opportunity to reflect on the significance of the Incarnation – God taking on human flesh – and its implications for our salvation. Philippians 2:6-8 invites us to reflect on the profound humility and sacrificial love of Christ. This passage challenges us to model our lives after the example set by Jesus, embracing humility, serving others selflessly, and embodying sacrificial love in our relationships and actions.

Joyful Expectation:

The anticipation of Christ’s birth should fill us with joy, just as the angels proclaimed “good news of great joy” to the shepherds. Luke 2:10 encourages us to approach our desire for God with joyful expectation, knowing that His presence brings good news and great joy. As we seek God, we can embrace a sense of anticipation, share the joy of the Gospel, and reflect God’s love in our interactions with others and our Oikos.

Spiritual Preparation:

Advent invites us to spiritually prepare our hearts, just as John the Baptist prepared the way for the Lord. Matthew 3:3 calls us to acknowledge prophetic voices before, actively making space for God, aligning our lives with His will, cultivating a heart ready for His presence, and embracing the transformative power of God. As we prepare the way for the Lord, our desire for God is met with a heart that is open, receptive, and ready to experience His presence in a profound way.

A Time for Worship:

The Magi, upon seeing the Son of God, worshiped Him. Advent reminds us to worship and adore the Savior. Matthew 2:11 teaches us about worship in the context of the Magi’s visit to Jesus. Our worship involves recognizing Jesus’ identity. He is our Savior and should  receive all of our praise.

God’s Faithfulness:

Throughout history, God has remained faithful to His promises. Advent reminds us of God’s faithfulness in sending His Son. Galatians 4:4-5 provides a powerful perspective on God’s faithfulness manifested in the sending of His Son for our redemption. We can find assurance in God’s perfect timing, appreciate His identification with humanity, and respond with gratitude for the transformative work of redemption and adoption through Jesus Christ.

A Focus on Christ:

In the busyness of the Christmas season, Advent helps redirect our hearts to focus on Christ and His redemptive work. Hebrews 12:2 urges believers to maintain a steadfast focus on Christ as the founder and perfecter of faith. As we desire God, we draw inspiration from His endurance, embrace sacrificial living, despise temporal challenges, and fix our eyes on the joy found in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It’s a time of Communal Worship:

Advent is a time for the church community to come together and worship. Romans 15:6 encourages believers to engage in communal worship with one voice, glorifying the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We Worship God because we have been saved and redeemed by the blood of Christ.  

Conclusion:

Partaking in Advent is a biblical practice that enriches our understanding of Christ’s birth, fosters joyful expectation, and encourages spiritual preparation. By immersing ourselves in the promises, prophecies, and fulfillment of Christ’s coming, we experience the true depth of the Christmas season. I encourage you to embrace Advent as a meaningful and biblically grounded tradition that deepens your faith and enriches your celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior.  

Soli Deo Gloria!

Consider these books to read as a family during this Advent season.

Come, let us adore him: A Daily Advent devotional -Paul Tripp

Buy It Now

Joy to the World: Daily Readings for Advent – John Piper

Buy It Now