INTRODUCTION | ADVENT

O Come! Let us Adore Him, Christ the Lord.

 
 

Wonder and curiosity, faith and trust, awe and celebration—are these the descriptions of faith, or the characteristics of childhood? Isn’t it striking that when the Son of God came to earth, to rescue us from our sins, He didn’t descend as a fully-grown man with great power and authority to enact the rescue, but rather He came as a vulnerable, innocent, and harmless child who had to grow up, had to learn and mature, had to trust and learn to believe God? In short, He had to be like us if He was going to effectively rescue us from our sins and restore us to that wondrous, childlike innocence in which He came—and to which He calls us to abide with Him. When He was still but a baby in Mary’s womb, the angel Gabriel told her to call Him “Immanuel,” which means “God with us.”

The Advent of Immanuel in the world was the Advent of a new way of being human, it was humanity’s return to childlike innocence and a return to a fierce trusting in God, shot through with wonder and awe. It was the recovery of our childhood before God, and it was the start of something new, something never seen before: when God came, not just as man Himself, but also to indwell all humankind. He came, to quote John, to give us the power to once again be called children of God (John 1:12).

So, our celebration of Advent, which means “arrival,” isn't just our celebration of the arrival of Jesus in His first coming. It's also a celebration of how He came—as an innocent child—as well as how He returned humanity to the state of childlike innocence, which has always been His original intent for us. Because, truth be told, He didn't come just once, but now with every new birth in Christ, He comes again and again and again—this time in the hearts of believers. Our celebration of Advent is our celebration of Jesus’ arrival 2,000 years, and it's the celebration of His arrival within our hearts.

Be as filled with wonder at the arrival of coming of Christ in you as you are in His incarnation 2,000 years ago. Let wonder carry your heart back into the original innocence Jesus embodied on your behalf and let it deliver your heart into the arms of our Abba, who will continually affirm you in your innocence before Him. Let wonder reshape your heart as you behold the way the wondrous salvation of Christ has reshaped humanity itself.