What Advent Means to Me

When I was a little girl, we had an Advent Calendar. It was a fabric wall hanging with 25 pockets and a stuffed mouse that moved toward Christmas one pocket at a time as each day of December passed. I wasn't sure exactly what Advent meant, except that it was a countdown to Santa Claus, and there were pieces of candy in each of those little pockets that we got to eat when we moved the mouse.

I'm almost ashamed to tell you that it wasn't until I hung an identical calendar for my own kids that I really thought about the season of Advent. But since that moment of realization, the month of December has taken on new meaning for me. Each passing day brings us closer to the day on which we celebrate Christ's birth. My excitement mounts as I envision the Jewish people more than two thousand years ago, waiting with increasing urgency for the coming of the Messiah. I count 25 days. They counted centuries, without a fixed date to wait for. It could have been any day, any time.

And that's what makes Advent special for me. I'm not just counting the days until the Savior's birthday. I'm also waiting with increasing urgency for His second coming. I don't know the day, or even the century. But I know He's coming.

I love celebrating Christ the baby, God in flesh. And I can't wait for the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent.