As we come upon the annual celebration of Christmas, before you get ready to debate about the origins and validity of the Christmas celebration, I really want you to take some time and think about the first coming of Christ. Take the opportunity during this time to reflect on what it meant for the Christ to put on flesh. What does the advent of Christ truly mean to you?
The word advent means “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.” This means that when we speak of the advent of Christ, it wasn’t just a regular thing, it held significant importance. As notable as this coming was, God stayed true to His nature by hiding His coming in plain sight. In other words, He made His arrival as a notable person look regular. Aside from the shepherds, wise men, and others, God did not make His first coming a huge spectacle, even though He had every right to do so!
When I think of the love that God has in doing something that no other being would ever do, I am truly in awe. There really is no good reason for God to put on human flesh, subject Himself to the struggles and temptations of man, only to be crucified and die sinless. It was only through love that He was willing to go through all He went through to accomplish the salvation of His people. It is a love that we sometimes think we grasp, yet it’s truly beyond comprehension.
It is because of the advent of Christ that we don’t have to earn our righteousness, because Jesus Himself is our righteousness. We get the opportunity to experience the redemption of our bodies and all of creation because Christ willingly submitted to the will of the Father and experienced all that He experienced for our redemption.
I know that it’s easy to say we don’t need to set apart a day to celebrate Christ’s, but there is power in setting apart specific and intentional time to reflect on the works of God that were accomplished, because it’s very easy to forget it. Even if we don’t forget it, it is common in human nature to make regular what’s familiar to us.
Think of how many times we speak of God coming to save man, it can feel like a religious tradition, instead of the historical and supernatural reality that it is. We almost take for granted that Jesus walked the earth, when it is literally unheard of.
So I encourage you, in these times of tradition and holiday practices, to reflect on the advent of Christ and what it means for us today. Think about how deep the love of God is that He would accomplish this amazing act just to save and restore us in every way.