We have begun another Advent season. Worship during Advent is not the time for Christmas carols and Luke 2 readings about Jesus' birth. The four weeks prior to Christmas are for preparation, preparation so we properly celebrate Jesus’ coming to be our Savior.
Our preparation for Christmas is founded on the same principle that John the Baptist outlined for his country men and women to use in preparation for Messiah’s first coming. “Repent!” he preached. “Repent for the kingdom of God is near!”
Advent, much like Lent, is a time for repentance, a time for deep, personal examination of our hearts and lives. It is a time of recognition of our failures and our need for a Savior. More than that, Advent is a time for rejoicing that all our sins, no matter how shameful, have been fully forgiven in Jesus.
Only then are we prepared to celebrate the Savior’s birth. Only then will we rightly sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!” and “Oh, come, let us adore him.”