For most folks, the word advent is a strange one. Perhaps, if you scored well on the verbal portion of your SATs, you know that it means the beginning or start of something. Maybe, if you are a Christmas junkie, you know it because it describes the type of calendar you can buy that has little doors filled with chocolate for each day of December counting down to Christmas day.
For those of us residing in the Christian tradition, Advent means a season of waiting, not unlike Lent. We await and eagerly anticipate the arrival of the Messiah, the birth of the King of Kings in a dirty little manger. Sure, it happened 2,000 years ago, but we celebrate the event every year to remind ourselves of the coming of our Savior.
Advent is more than just waiting for the day we get to open our presents and eat yummy food with our family. It is the anticipation of celebration of the start of something altogether different: the seeming insanity of the incarnation, God becoming flesh in the form of a tiny, helpless child.
It begins today. It is the advent of Advent. And so, I wait...