Christmas Advent Is A Time To Encounter God

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Advent is an important season in the Christian calendar. It consists of the weeks leading up to Christmas, which is the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The word ‘Advent’ is derived from a Latin word, ‘adventus’ which means ‘coming.’ [1]

Advent is a season of preparation and expectation.

Christmas Advent Today

In our culture, it is easy to lose the wonder and anticipation of Christmas Advent.

For many of us, preparation means the pressure of buying gifts, planning menus and events, or tying up loose ends at work.

Expectation consists of mixed feelings as we anticipate the positives and negatives of having family with us—or absent from us.

If you can relate to this, I urge you to take some time to allow the Holy Spirit to minister to your heart.

The weeks leading up to Christmas can be busy and distracted.

I don’t want my life to be like the inn at Bethlehem—so busy accommodating everything and everyone else that I turn Jesus away at the door. [2]

The Challenge of the Original Advent

(Luke 1:5-38)

Zachariah was the father of John the Baptist. Mary was the mother of Jesus. Their lives, and many others at that time, were changed forever by the coming of Jesus.

Let’s take a few moments to consider what Advent meant to those involved in the birth of our Saviour—and what following Jesus Christ may also mean for us today.

Divine Interruption

For Zachariah, it was business as usual—performing his occasional duties as a priest in the temple.

Mary was a young woman whose life was already mapped out. She was going to be married to Joseph, a carpenter from her hometown of Nazareth, in Galilee.

But their ordinary lives were suddenly interrupted by a message from the throne of God, brought by the angel Gabriel.

Am I willing for God to interrupt my ordinary life? Am I open to hear what He has to say to me at this time?

‘Do not be Afraid’

As I muse over the Christmas narrative, I see the words ‘Do not be afraid’ mentioned many times—to Zachariah, to Mary, to Joseph, and to the shepherds.

‘Do not be afraid’ encapsulates the Christmas message. It speaks hope and life into my present circumstances.

But it also deeply challenges me. It tells me that encountering God, and contemplating His demands upon my life will require something from me.

And that this ‘something’ will be so costly, and this encounter with Him so awe-inspiring, that the reaction of my soul will be fear.

Am I willing to encounter God, knowing that it will require something of me?

Life Change

The angel Gabriel’s announcement changed the landscape of Zechariah and Mary’s lives forever.

It marked a point of no return. Making room for the coming of Jesus would mean that their lives would never be the same again. It would bring both joy and sacrifice.

Am I willing to make room for Jesus in my life—even if it means moving or giving up other personal priorities?

Crisis of faith

When the angel Gabriel announced God’s plans, he received different responses from Zachariah and Mary.

Zachariah doubted.

Mary trusted.

Zachariah’s doubt cost him his voice for a season. But not even unbelief could halt the progress of God’s plans.

What is my personal response to God’s purpose for my life? Am I doubting—or trusting His word?

Participation in a Greater Plan

Zachariah and Mary were just two of a company of people whom God used to make way for the first coming of Jesus.

At the birth of his son John, Zachariah caught a glimpse of God’s purpose—the salvation of the world through Jesus Christ.

He prophesied:

‘And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.’ (Luke 1:76-79)

As we respond to the call of God to make room for Jesus in our lives, we too will become participants in God’s plan of salvation.

By making room for Jesus in our personal lives this Christmas and beyond, we are opening the door for our families, our friends, and those near and far to encounter the Good News of salvation.

Advent is a season of preparation and expectation.

Today, let’s pause from the busyness of our schedule and ask the question,

‘When it comes to my life of faith right now,

What am I preparing for?
And what am I expecting?’


Notes:

[1] For more information on Advent, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent

[2] See Luke 2:7, Rev 3:20


Related Posts:

Hunger For God: 6 Ways You Can Stir It Up

Angels Herald Jesus’ Birth And The Beginning Of A Supernatural Era

How To Recover The Wonder Of Hearing God’s Voice


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries
A part of the David McCracken Ministries family

3 thoughts on “Christmas Advent Is A Time To Encounter God

  1. Rob

    I am a lead pastor of a new church plant in Austin Texas. I have been following this blog for a few months. Thank you for the encouraging postings.
    Two Saturdays ago I was praying over our ministry and church plant. As I was wrapping up I saw a vision of a rocket ship blasting off. The vision was then ended after I saw it in the air. Perhaps you have some insight to the sequence of events. If so – I’d like to hear them.
    I look forward to your reply.

    Rob

  2. Helen Calder Post author

    Hi Rob,
    Such a great vision, and I believe an encouragement from God for your church plant and ministry.
    It seems to me that the rocket taking off speaks of the launch and new beginnings of your ministry after a season of much preparation.
    More fuel and power is needed at that initial time of takeoff than at any other time in a rocket’s journey. I believe God is calling you to affirm that it is His power and the fuel of His Spirit that has brought you to this place of ‘lift-off’. Also to make a priority of staying filled, being connected to Him and allowing His power to do the work (relying on Him), the ministry will continue to rise and head towards the destination He has intended for it. Looks like you are in for a season of continued enlargement.
    Have a great Christmas. 🙂

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