What is Advent?

Advent celebrates the incarnation, the arrival of Jesus in our world. It’s a season waiting, of anticipation of something (or someone) greater. Of course, celebrate Christmas day but there is much more to celebrate in the days leading up to Jesus’ birth. So, take time to celebrate God in the process. He is at work.

“Here’s an Advent illustration for kids — and those of us who used to be kids and remember what it was like. Suppose you and your mom get separated in the grocery store, and you start to get scared and panic and don’t know which way to go, and you run to the end of an aisle, and just before you start to cry, you see a shadow on the floor at the end of the aisle that looks just like your mom. It makes you really happy and you feel hope. But which is better? The happiness of seeing the shadow, or having your mom step around the corner and it’s really her?

That’s the way it is when Jesus comes to be our High Priest. That’s what Christmas is. Christmas is the replacement of shadows with the real thing.” ― John Piper.

Do you have a memory of being lost from your mom as a child?

You can feel the panic, and then the relief when you are found, or when you find her.  You could even relate the feeling of panic to right now, December 1st. The beginning of the “season.” It’s not slow and simple. It’s hectic. You can panic easily, get sidetracked and forget what the point of it all is. So we can pause each day in anticipation and celebration, to look and remember. We can notice and embrace the mystery of waiting for the “real thing” before the 24th or 25th. Let’s start today.


The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” —  “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ” Mark 1: 1-3



— Janet Hirata Stall and Christina Barron