Advent

Advent

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.

Peace

In Him was life and life was the light of all men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

Hope

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Joy

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.

Peace

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Hope

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.