Dr. Sachi Nakamura（JCFN Board Member, Translator of Christian Books, Spiritual Director）
This year, Advent starts on December 2nd. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before December 25th, and lasts until December 24th. According to the church calendar, Advent marks the beginning of the new year.
As you probably already know, Advent is a time of awaiting for the birth of the Messiah.
To us, Advent is a time to celebrate the birth of our Messiah this earth with gratitude, as well as a time to remember God’s further promise for us. That promise is for Jesus’ second coming, when he will completely redeem all creation, and this world will come to the full knowledge of the Lord. We are eagerly waiting for Jesus’s second coming in order for the Kingdom of God to be completed. All of creation joins us in waiting for that day.
When Jesus first came to earth, he inaugurated the Kingdom of God and taught people the way to live in that kingdom. As God’s people and followers of Jesus, we seek to live as Jesus taught us to on this earth. But in doing so, we realize that there is a tension that exists in the Kingdom of God between what has already been fulfilled and what is not yet fulfilled. Advent is a time that reminds us of this tension that we live in.
What kind of tension are you feeling in your life at this moment? What are you waiting for? How is God personally inviting you to enter into this Advent season? Ironically, December can be the busiest season of the year for Christians having one event after another to attend. In order to not be engulfed by total busyness, take some time for reflection. During this Advent, what is God asking of you? What is He offering to you? What is He inviting you into? May you be mindful of God’s invitation during this 4-week period of Advent.
Although it is in English, Biola University offerings a wonderful online Advent devotion incorporating music and art every year. This year, it will be updated daily starting on December 1st until January 7th. If you are interested, please see the link below.