For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
– Isaiah 9:6-7
Isaiah’s beautiful prophecy foretold a promise 700 years in the making. Though the world was dark, light was coming. Though life was hard and toilsome, rest was coming. Though sin had enslaved, a rescuer was coming. A child, like no other, would be born. A Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace was coming. A Savior was on His way. This is the promise of Advent.
Advent comes from a Latin word meaning ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’. For centuries Christians have reflected upon the 1st Advent – Jesus’ arrival as Messiah and also the 2nd Advent when Jesus will come as King.
Traditionally, the Advent season occurs in the weeks leading up to Christmas. There are a variety of ways in which people have celebrated the season. Some have lit candles on a wreath or stand, reflecting on the imagery of Jesus as the Light of the World. (John 1:4-9; 8-12) Others have used a window calendar, usually made with 24 “windows” you open. Each window contains a scripture or story used to reflect on the promise of a Savior who is coming, Jesus.
No matter how you celebrate the season, what is important is the opportunity to reflect on the Savior who came to fulfil God’s promise of rescue and redemption.