What does Advent mean to you?

Before Jesus was born, many years before Mary and Joseph were born, the Jewish nation was looking for Messiah to come. They were looking for a king. The Jewish nation had been taken over by an opressive Roman government. They levied heavy taxes which were collected by dishonest men who padded the amount they charged to include money for themselves. Roman soldiers demanded people to stop what they were doing at any time and help carry heavy equipment. The Jewish people did not like the Roman soldiers and rulers. They hoped Messiah would come soon, and as King David once did long ago, they hoped he would again make them into a strong nation who could fight off the Roman government.

Now we have the benefit of history which has been written down in the New Testament so that we can have a better idea about what the new king, Messiah, would be like. If we have read the Holy Scriptures, we know better than to look for the Christ to be our military leader. Rather, Christ told his Disciples that whoever lived by the sword would die by the sword. Then as now, Messiah was more interested in the conquest of the human heart and spirit than in political conquest.

Today we set aside four to five weeks before Christmas to celebrate Advent, the anticipation of Jesus Christ’s birth, the long awaited Messiah. These days and weeks are meant to prepare our hearts and minds to experience anew the birth of Christ, the Messiah, the Imanuel – God living with us and through us.

How are you preparing your heart to experience the birth of the Messiah, the Baby King?

A family-friendly retelling of the first Advent can be found in my Bible storybook, The First Christmas.

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