Just what is advent?
Is advent the preparation for the birth of baby Jesus? Or is it preparation for the return of Jesus?
Well actually it’s a little of both. We do look back and remember and celebrate the gift of Jesus birth. The amazing idea that God loves us so much that God took on humanity in the form of a helpless infant lived a human life and died a terrible death, before being raised, is simply the most amazing glorious event in the history of the world.
But we also prepare and celebrate the promise that God has not and will not ever give up on us, and loves us, sinners that we are. Jesus promise to return and fully bring in the new Kingdom at the end of time when there will be no tears or suffering and finally we will be at peace with one another and the whole creation.
So we do both of these things at the same time. This is good to remember in the worldly chaos that is what Christmas celebrations have become. It is good to give and receive gifts but only as a way to remember and anticipate the greatest gift of all, God’s endless grace and forgiveness and love.