Last Monday, Connie’s alarm went off at 4:30 A.M. so she could go to the gym before it gets crowded. Great! I love the fact that my wife works out and that she has the discipline to get out of bed so early; I support her wholeheartedly. She also does this so she can get an early start on the day; once again, a great thing. My alarm goes off an hour later, at 5:30 so that I can go to the gym an hour before unit PT and get some extra time at the gym. Usually I fall back asleep almost instantly. However every now and then I have trouble falling back asleep.
That was me last Monday.
I tossed and turned for an hour. My mind had already initiated and now I was thinking about the day/week ahead, going to the gym, all the things I needed to get done that week. I had this sense of expectation that my alarm was about to go off any second. I was just waiting for it so I could get my day started. So I just laid there waiting. Pretty soon sleep was impossible and all I wanted was for my alarm to go off.
I think this is a lot like Advent.
The word “advent” comes from a Latin word, adventus, which means “coming” or “arrival.” According to Wikipedia: “The theme of readings and teachings during Advent is often to prepare for the Second Coming while commemorating the First Coming of Christ at Christmas. With the view of directing the thoughts of Christians to the first coming of Jesus Christ as savior and to his second coming as judge, special readings are prescribed for each of the four Sundays in Advent.”
The other day I just knew that at any second my alarm was about to go off. I was certain of it and I think we are called to feel the same way about Jesus’ return. Many Jews had this feeling about the coming of the Messiah; they waited on it, they prayed for it, and they prepared for it. We’re supposed to be the same.
Advent is a season that celebrates that which has already been fulfilled and looks forward to that which will one day be fulfilled. It celebrates the birth of Christ as Savior in this world. It looks forward to the return of Christ as Judge to this world.