By Dieter Stach
‘Tis the season, as they say, and the Christmas spirit is in the air! Lights are going up all over the neighborhoods, Santas are appearing in malls, parents are leaving hair-trails as they tear it all out trying to find the perfect gifts for their children—you know, the most wonderful time of the year.
And while all this holiday shopping is buzzing in the air, and society is ramping up for December 25th, you may have heard a particular word from some of your stuffy Christian friends. That word is “advent.”
Maybe you haven’t ever heard the word. Maybe you used to go to church when you were a kid, and you remember everything in the building getting draped in purple. Maybe you’re sitting in church right now reading this instead of listening to the sermon, and I’d bet that even you are a little foggy on the idea of what “advent” really is.
The textbook definition of “advent” is “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.” The world was just hit with this recently—the “advent” of the Avengers: Endgame teaser trailer. Man, the internet hype that thing got! Ever since Avengers: Infinity War came out in April people have not been able to contain their anticipation for the next movie. And even though we only had to wait a little over half a year for the Endgame trailer, people were biting their nails and jumping in anticipation for the trailer.
Predictions ran rampant across social media, Reddit, and a number of other news sources. Everyone was pitching in something, everyone had an idea, but one thing was certain: no one knew anything. So the anticipation built. Theories were made. And then, suddenly, there it was. The trailer announcing the coming arrival of one of the most highly anticipated movies of all time.
This is what Christians talk about when we talk about the season of Advent. In the history of Israel, the Jews heard from God (through the prophet Isaiah) that He was going to send a savior, a Messiah. And the Jews waited in anticipation. And they waited. And they waited.
…and they waited.For 400 years, they waited. God did not speak that entire time. And then, suddenly, and angel visited a man named Zechariah, telling him his very old wife is pregnant. That boy would become a man named John the Baptist, And with that we get the “teaser trailer” of the greatest event in human history: the advent of Jesus Christ.
That is what the season of Advent is. It is the prelude to the arrival of the Messiah, the Savior of the world. The same excitement felt by the MCU fanbase for the teaser trailer is what Christians feel this time of year. We celebrate that the wait is over. The King has arrived. The Savior has come.