Advent arrives every year announcing the birth of Lord Jesus. We prepare for the feast in all possible ways. We plan for the day to make it the happiest occasion. Stars are already illuminating our yards. Cakes and gifts are under the make. Santa is seriously on his way to entertain all.
Advent brings the prayer Our Lord taught us. I think the messages included there are already in the occurrences of Christmas. It is purely a reminder of the Lord’s Prayer. It brings out all the messages of the prayer.
1) Advent to connect us with the heavenly Father
God came down to extend His relationship with all the human beings through His son’s birth on this earth. Through His birth and redemption we are united with God the Father and we are given the right to call Him ‘Our Father’.
2) Advent to glorify His name
Advent is the season of glorifying God’s name. Before the birth of Jesus, Mary glorified God’s name singing, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my savior!” (Luke 1: 46-47) At Bethlehem the angels rejoiced at the birth of Jesus singing the glory of God. “Glory to God in the highest; peace on earth for God is blessing humankind” (Luke 2:13)
3) Advent a season to bring His Kingdom
During Advent we often hear the call to expect the Kingdom of God. Rituals and readings stress the need of the hour to ‘repent and return to God’. We often hear the words of John the Baptist, preparing the way for Messiah. “It is written in the book of Isaiah, the prophet, “I am sending my messenger ahead of you to prepare your way.” Mark 1:2) We are also reminded about the kingdom of God through the words of Jesus, “The time has come; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News.” (Mark 1: 15)
4) Advent to fulfill the ‘Will of God’
The whole plan of incarnation is the will of God to redeem man. “Thy will be done” was the prayer of Mary on the eve of the incarnation. It was to fulfill the will of God that Jesus was born on this earth as a human being. It is in the fulfillment of His will that ‘the Kingdom of heaven’ is realized on this earth itself. It is God’s will that we should strive to bring His Kingdom on this earth itself through our shared life. That is why Jesus said, “See, the kingdom of God is among you.” (Luke 17: 21)
The second part of Our Lord’s Prayer also insists that God’s incarnation is to make our life contented without worries.
5) Advent to promise and fulfill our earthly needs
Food and love are the two main things for which man is craving. Every action of his life is focused on these two. Advent reminds us that God came down to feed us full and to appease our need of love.
God shared His life with us on Christmas. The angel said, “I am here to give you good news, great joy for all the people” (Luke 2: 10). The people of Israel were waiting for Messiah for this good news, to have a contented and joyful life. The memory of ‘Manna’ was tantalizing them to have contented food.
Jesus came to this world with solutions for these two. He promised food for all. He provided eternal food. He said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6: 48). He showed us the way and gave the commandment of love to enjoy the kingdom of heaven on this earth itself.
Advent is a season of hope. It is a season of uniting us with God. It is the fulfillment of the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ which our Lord has taught us.