Jesus has come… Jesus is present now… Jesus is coming again!
These are three spiritual realities that can remain theological concepts in your mind or they can create astonishment and transformation! Advent is the anticipation of the comings of Christ. It’s about “waiting” with expectation. But the word waiting has a much deeper meaning in Scripture. As in Isaiah’s often quoted promise, “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength,” we can add some powerful dimension to the word “wait.” It actually means to intertwine or braid together.  So “to wait” is not at all passive but active! It is to entangle oneself in the realities that Jesus has come, He is now in Me and He is coming again. Strengthen your mind and heart by letting these truths be woven into the fabric of your thinking and being. This is called meditation - a rehearsal in one’s mind with God’s truth to where His realities and yours become one!
A Little History of Advent
For 12 centuries Easter was the Church’s focal point of the year until St Francis of Assisi realized and taught that without the Incarnation, salvation would never have been accomplished. In fact, he believed the irreversible process of our salvation began in the Incarnation! “The Word was made flesh and lived among us.” Christmas means that God did not want to be God without us. He declared and revealed with His own flesh and blood that it was good to be human and good to be on this earth – that matter matters to Him and that He came to inhabit and redeem it!

 “What God becomes He heals.”  – Athanasius

Advent is being reminded and becoming aware of the past, present and future realities of Jesus’ comings. We can meditate on their present realities in us while building upon His future Kingdom now!
Advent: A Reminder to be Astonished!
John writes, “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may be astonished” (John 5:20). The meaning of Christmas is that God is present in all our lives, the everyday, the mundane and even in the chaos. These things can either be just a source of distraction or they can lead us into an awakening of the deepest kind of wonder and astonishment if you just allow yourself to become aware! When people passed by that stable they saw “business as usual,” nothing out of the ordinary. They may have heard there was a poor family spending the night in the stable but finding God? …here? Most walked on by. I’m afraid we are missing so much astonishment that God has prepared for us by not seeing Christ born – in you, in me, in the least of these, and in the beautiful world He has created. It’s the astonishment of forgiveness, of hope, of the peace of a Savior that brought His light into the darkness. These are the greater works He wants to reveal!

God for us became God with us to reveal God in us.

But the World Says “No Room!” 
Christmas says that when we say there is no room in our comfy little facade of an Inn, He comes anyway and makes His way to the hidden, dark, squalid places of our humanity to shine His light of hope to reveal His presence there in the middle of the mess and chaos. Apparently, He does His best work in chaos! (Gen 1)
He’ll always find His way to your stable and be there until you are humble enough to meet Him where He has been humble enough to be born. And wherever He is born, He makes His home, even transforming it into a mansion! His light shines to reveal that His redeeming love has transformed your mess and chaos into His favorite resting place: YOU! He has gone ahead and prepared a place for you that where He is there you may be also with Him (John 14:3). We have always pushed this verse into the future, but the context is a present reality!
On Earth As it is In Heaven
Finally, Advent is about getting excited about the Kingdom to come and “waiting,” not by being passive but by intertwining ourselves in its future realities by caring for the least of these, the poor, the sick, hungry and thirsty, restoring justice and equality, and respecting our earthly home. This is bringing the future into the present! It is about making people aware and showing that there is a King and a Kingdom coming where “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4). It’s rehearsing the future Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven” by the way we live now!
This Christmas, weave your mind and heart together with who Christ became FOR  you – a humble servant; who Christ is IN you – your comforter and hope of glory; and who Christ is as the One who is “making all things new!”  (Rev 21:3) Christmas is a verb and resting in these beautiful realities will make you one too. “The Love of God compels us” and inspires us into loving action! (2 Cor 5:14)
Photo by Daniel Reche from Pexels