2005-12-06 - The Santa and the Savior of Advent
Advent Series, Part 1
At this time of the year, the secular and spiritual worlds come into both harmony and discord. For some, this holiday season is the best time of the year - but for others, it is one of the hardest times to endure. The excitement of all the goings-on recharges many while draining others. It's really weird what all the commotion is about. Winter is the period of death, in a sense, for nature, and yet in the midst of all this death in nature, we celebrate the birth of a child - the incarnation of God.
I know other authors are sharing some advent thoughts, so I won't go into great detail, but I wanted to talk just a few minutes about the relationship between the Christ Christmas and the Santa Christmas and how the familiar one can be used to help others, especially children understand the spiritual.
Even now, some of us can see gifts already under the tree. But others of us are just anticipating all the ones that will be there. We believe there is nothing but good stuff in the boxes that we see, and we believe that the boxes that are not yet there will come bringing good things as well. That is what the first week of advent is about. The first advent candle is symbolic of hope, faith, and prophecy. The prophets talked of a gift that would be coming on the first Christmas ever. That gift was Jesus, and they all expected the Messiah to come with great gifts like salvation within him.
Deuteronomy 18:15-19 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; 16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, "Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not." 17 And the LORD said unto me, "They have well spoken that which they have spoken. 18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."
This time of year finds us with hectic schedules too. I know my own calendar is filled with one festive gathering after another. We rush around seeing old friends, renewing those relationships, and perhaps making some new ones as well. It's a busy time, but a joyous time, too. And, as we give new life to those old friendships, we can think of the second week of advent and the new life that came to earth to bring us new life and the joy with which the angels told the shepherds of Jesus' birth.
Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
To be continued next week.
All scriptures references are from KJV unless otherwise noted.