What is “Advent” anyways? I remember as a little girl, we had the advent wreath with purple, pink and white candles on our kitchen table and read about Jesus after dinner. It was a teaching tool in a lot of ways about what Christmas was really all about. But now as an adult, I can get confused at what Advent really means.
In secular terms, Webster defines advent as “a coming into being or use.” In faith terms, Webster defines Advent (capitalized), as “the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting.”
I don’t claim to be an expert on the theology of Advent. But I certainly think that carving out time to reflect on how and why Jesus entered earth is time worth taking. Really, I think this season of Advent is all about centering our hearts and minds on Jesus.
So, I thought I’d take some time here to reflect on the infant birth of Jesus in the wake of the earthly loss of our baby girl. In Matthew 1:23 NIV we read, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). I love how God defines for us in His Word, what “Immanuel” means. He spells it out for us in plain terms with a definition. It’s like the Lord is saying, “Get this! Don’t miss out! I am sending my One and Only Son to dwell among you and save you!” God prophesied about the coming of Jesus long before in Isaiah 7:14 NIV: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Oh, the harmony of the Scriptures.
Reflecting on Jesus’ birth, I think about how much Pete and I planned for the birth of our child, the advent of her so to speak. We planned and hoped but of course, we did not know what the future held and ultimately, held zero control. We never got pregnant with the thought that Charlotte would die at 36 weeks and 4 days. Yet, to think that our omnipotent God anticipated and chose for Jesus to be born here on earth as a baby with the task to glorify the Father by conquering death for all through His Son dying on the cross and resurrecting three days later seriously baffles me.
Jesus gets death better than anyone. But Jesus also gets life better than anyone!
What sacrificial love. What unfathomable compassion of the Father. This is unsparing love. Somehow, this comforts me. A very dear lady recently shared with me, “May the love of the Infant Jesus fill your hearts and home.” Yes, King Jesus is with me, my Immanuel, in my heart, my home, and Jesus is with my daughter.