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Last year at Christmas, I was consumed and overwhelmed by the thought of the "fullness of time". In the "fullness of time" God brought forth His son...Jesus. It awed me that He orchestrated an entire universe to prepare for the birth of His son through His servant Mary. The concept floored me. It brought me to tears even. It was too marvelous to even comprehend. The entire world at that moment was completely ready for the Advent of the Christ child. Astonishing.
This year, the word "Advent" is making its impression on me. The very word that means "coming" and we use to mirror the anticipation of the coming Messiah. I can't quite get away from it...from the thought of an entire nation waiting and anticipating the fulfilled prophecy...the promise.
Many of us think that Advent begins in Luke with the announcement to Mary that she would be the earthen vessel in which the Lord's Son would grow and be birthed...we reflect on the very nature of Mary...who she had to be...the beauty of her faith and willingness to do what the Lord had called her to do.
But truly, this first season of Advent began in the Garden...with Eve and then Adam...with the fall of man...when sin entered in. I'll be honest - I have a hard time reconciling the events of Eden. I've asked the question (and received good sound answers) "How could God, who is all knowing and loving, allow His creation to walk away from Him?" Even with the good sound answers, my mind is bewildered that He allowed this to happen. But happen it did...and here we are. Dirty, rotten, undeserving...yet...
When Eve and then Adam entered into sin...when separation from God became the new reality...when the world took on the death sentence laid out by Adam and Eve's disobedience...God's redemption plan began. From that moment, God began laying the foundation for His plan to redeem not only the Israelites - His chosen people - but the entire world.
And just as the Jews waited and anticipated the coming Messiah, we as Jesus followers today are in a new season of Advent. Waiting and anticipating the return of our Lord to right every wrong and restore His Kingdom.
Advent...the arrival...the coming...