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  • Writer's pictureKelly Wright

Advent Day 1: What is Advent?

By Kelly Wright

Christmas time is approaching, bringing with it so many wonderful ways to experience the joy and celebration of the season. As you think about this time of year, what are some of your favorite things?

advent 1

I love sitting in my quiet living room in the mornings by the soft glow of the Christmas lights. I love watching Christmas movies I’ve seen countless times. I love baking with my cousin Amy and her girls. I love the social gatherings, hugs and voices and good cheer.

I love so many things, but there is something I don’t love and every year I’m finding it gets worse. I don’t love how fast the month of December flies by.

If it were up to me, Christmas would be longer. I can’t get enough of the times of extended quiet and rest, all the fun traditions and gatherings, and being with the ones I love remembering the true reason for it all – Jesus.

For many years, the busyness of the Christmas season culminated on December 25th. It is the big day and grand finale all in one. But since being introduced to Advent, I’ve been able to breathe. To reflect. To stretch out Christmas day into the season of Advent.

Practicing Advent has become a way to hold quiet and reflection amid the busyness and celebration, the chaotic and the calm. Advent is not so much a countdown to Christmas, but a time to prepare our hearts throughout the Christmas season. It broadens this sacred season from one day to four weeks. Four weeks reflecting on the gift of Jesus coming into the world then, now, and in the future.

Signs of Life – Hope Has Come

This year has been a challenging year in so many ways. Even though we haven’t experienced 400 years of silence from God as Israel did right before the birth of Jesus, we know the feeling of walking in darkness. There are the everyday rigors of life and work. Family issues. Conflicts around our world. It can feel like we witness more signs of death than signs of life.

As you journey through the pages of this devotion, we invite you to look on with perspective. Advent is a season of reflection that allows us to approach our struggles and victories with honesty. You may notice dark places of fear or emptiness and struggles that darken your hope in yourself and others. But, while the struggles are real, the hope is too. We will remember daily that through Jesus the hope that came over two thousand years ago continues to come to us today. Hope that brings life eternal and life abundant. Hope is with us because—Emmanuel—God is with us.

Let us hope on together through this Advent season.


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