Hope, Peace, Joy and Love
The season of Advent is finally here! According to "Advent | The Christian Year" at the Presbyterian Mission Agency website, “'Advent' means 'coming' or 'arrival.' During the season of Advent, we celebrate Christ’s coming into the world and watch with expectant hope for his coming again." Secularly, this season is also referred to as the Christmas Season and the most wonderful time of the year. So be of good cheer!
The first Sunday of Advent is Hope. We hope it will or will not snow. We hope that all the lights on the tree will come on when we plug it in. We hope that we have not left anyone off our Christmas card list. As it says in Psalm122:6, “May they prosper who love you." We hope the best of all things for our family and friends, especially in the time of Advent.
The second Sunday of Advent is Peace. This is a very busy time of the year, especially for families with children. There are school programs and parties, church activities, shopping and all the excitement of Santa coming. At many times during this busy time, peace only comes when everyone is finally asleep. We can also find peace in knowing that "The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them" (Isaiah 11:6). Our peace comes to us by deepening our faith in Jesus by reading the Bible, praying and living as He would want us to live.
The third Sunday of Advent is Joy. The word Joy is used a lot this time of the year to describe our feelings. We feel joy in giving gifts, singing carols and eating tremendous amounts of food with family and friends. The joy we feel should also be like the joy that Zechariah and Elizabeth feel when the angel tells them they are expecting a son who would become John the Baptist (Luke 1:13-15), and especially the joy that Mary feels after the angel tells her that she will be the mother of the promised Messiah (Luke 1:46-56).
The fourth Sunday of Advent is Love. According to a Beatles song, love is all you need. In the carol "Joy to the World" we sing of "Wonders of his love". The Advent Sunday of Love ties all the previous Sundays of Advent together. I would hope that everyone, even for just a minute, can feel at peace within themselves and feel the joy that Jesus brought to the world. Then we can love all those around us.
As Linus explained to Charlie Brown as he was finishing up his famous speech "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:13-14). Then, as Linus picks up his blanket and leaves the stage, he says, “That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown,” (kithchychristmas). That is what Advent is all about.
kitchychristmas. “Linus Explains The True Meaning of Christmas - Printable PDF.” Kitchy Christmas (blog), December 5, 2021. https://kitchychristmas.com/linus-meaning/.
Presbyterian Mission Agency. “Advent | The Christian Year.” Accessed November 17, 2022. https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/worship/christianyear/advent/.