Today is the last Sunday of Trinity Season, and next Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent. There are four Sundays of Advent leading up to Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. The Church calendar continues with Epiphany, Lent, and Easter, culminating at Pentecost. What you’ll notice is that half of our year is spent celebrating the life of Jesus. Of course every Sunday is a celebration of Jesus, but we also know that we can’t say everything every week. This is a way that we can discipline ourselves to keep going over all of the story. I like to refer to the Church Calendar as the oldest devotional guide. But another thing the Church Calendar insists on is that we keep Jesus at the center.
So next week begins Advent. Advent means “Coming” – we worship our God as the one who comes again and again, and who came in Jesus, and who will come again at the last day to judge the living and the dead. So as you prepare to celebrate in your families, remember what you’re celebrating. Think about what it is you are doing. It’s great to do Advent calendars and readings and candles and candy. But don’t forget what it’s for. Don’t forget what it means. It means God comes. It means there is a God who hears and acts and comes. We know that He comes because He came to Adam in the Garden. He came to Israel in Egypt. He came in His own Son Jesus, and therefore, we know that He will come again.
In this way, Advent teaches us to prioritize. Jesus is coming again, and one day we will stand before Him at the judgment seat. And on that day, it won’t matter very much what kind of house you had, where you bought your groceries, or what kind of clothes you wore, whether you ate organic grass fed beef or hot dogs and ketchup, whether you used cloth diapers or Huggies. None of those things can be your righteousness. None of those things commend you to God. Jesus is your righteousness. Jesus commends you to God. In Him you are accepted. In Him you are approved. In Him, you have come home.