The more I live in the grand opening of the Gospel of John, the grander it becomes! What an amazing text! If someone in my church were to interview me about the meaning of the Christmas season, I would ask to simply read this text… slowly. Simple enough vocabulary, relatively easy to comprehend words, stitched together to draw us… step-by-step… ever more deeply into ever more profound wonder! The text takes us into the heart of the story we have to tell the world. The text takes us into the heart of the story of how the world is being made new.Darrell Johnson
So says Darrell Johnson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Vancouver, Canada.
The beginning of John’s gospel, the prologue contained in 1:1–18, is indeed a great Advent passage in Scripture. It is true that when we think about Christmas and the Bible, we generally think about shepherds, wise men, the overly-booked inn in Bethlehem, and Mary sitting on a donkey. Perhaps we think of Mary and Joseph’s flight to Egypt because of the evil King Herod. Or maybe we think of Simeon and Anna in the temple celebrating the fact that they see the Lord’s anointed one. None of these, however, are found in John 1. Nevertheless, the Fourth Gospel takes us through Advent surely and steadily. The apostle wants us to see what we call Christmas from a broad and deep perspective not seen in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Advent. What does the word mean? Advent means coming or arrival. For two millennia the church has celebrated in various ways the advent of Jesus. Advent is an annual looking back on, and a looking forward to, the coming of the Messiah!
Accordingly, Advent is a time of celebration, of pondering, of anticipation. Advent is a time to celebrate the fruit of the work of Jesus; that is, a time to express our hope in Him, our peace with God through Him, our joy because of Him, and the love we experience from Him.