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  • Chris Chandler

Counting Down to Christmas

Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year. One of the things we always did in our home growing up, was my mom would get me an advent calendar. Maybe you had one of these growing up too. But if not let me quickly explain what this is.


The calendar would start on December 1st, and go through December 25th, counting down the days until Christmas. The ones that my mom would get had what appeared to be little doors for each day that you would punch open with your finger, and inside would be some candy, or a small ornament, or something like that.


Towards the end of each day, I could hardly wait to be able to punch open another day and see what was inside. I’m not sure what it was about that experience. Maybe it was the expectation and excitement of the unknow. Maybe it was just the thrill of busting open those little

doors with my finger. Maybe it was that I got to spend time with my family.


This is how we counted down the days until Christmas in our home. Just a few more days until Santa would come to visit, sneaking in, eating all the cookies I had left out, and in exchange, leaving presents under our tree. Who wouldn’t get excited about that.


It wasn’t until I got older that I realized that Christmas is more than waiting for a jolly guy in a red suit. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. The long-awaited Messiah.


For God so loved the world…that He became one of us. Immanuel, God with us. The God of Heaven and earth took on human flesh and blood. Born, not in a castle, not in a palace…but in a stable, with a manger (an animal feeding trough) for a bed

.

When I became a Christian I began to hear this term “advent” thrown around again. At first I was like, oh yeah, I remember the advent calendars growing up! Later I realized that advent had nothing to do with a paper calendar, and everything to do with the coming of Christ.


You see, the celebration of “advent” is the celebration of the first coming of Jesus Christ. When we count down the days until Christmas. We’re not counting down the days until Santa comes, like I first thought. We’re counting down the days until we recognize His first coming. God stooped down and walked with us.


As we are now in the middle of the advent season once again, counting down the days until Christmas. Keep this in mind…we now find ourselves in-between advents.

What do I mean? We not only look back and celebrate the first coming of the Christ, but we also look forward with great expectations for His second coming.


Could it be, that as we prepare our hearts and our homes to celebrate His first coming, that we could be on the verge of His second coming…the second advent?


Just like I missed the meaning of advent as I was growing up. So, many who were alive when Jesus walked the earth missed the first advent. The first coming of Christ. But know this, no one will miss the second advent. No one will question themselves, “is this it?” or “Did I miss it?” All will know and see Him when He returns.


As you prepare for Christmas, prepare for His return. It’s with grateful hearts we wait for our King to return. Until then, be blessed.


Merry Christmas!


Chris Chandler

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