In the midst of all the busyness, it is also the season of Advent in the Christian Church. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and extends through Christmas Eve. If you look up the definition of the word “advent,” the first meaning is, “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event,” and that definition is spot on. The notable person that Christians look forward to is Jesus Christ, the Son of God -- the most notable person the world has ever seen. As Christians, our advent event is Christ’s birth. Some churches count off the weeks with an advent wreath. You’ve probably seen one -- a horizontal evergreen wreath with four candles and a fifth one in the middle. Beginning on the first Sunday in Advent, one candle is lit. Then an additional candle is lit on each of the remaining three Sundays before Christmas and the final one on Christmas Eve, the eve of Christ's birth.
Are you celebrating the advent season? Are you looking forward to honoring the arrival of Christ as a babe in the manger, the holy birth that occurred over two thousand years ago? Are you eagerly looking for Christ? The Bible says that He is looking for you. In Revelation 3:20, Christ says, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. In that chapter, Christ is speaking specifically to the church at Laodicea, a congregation that was lukewarm (3:16), self-satisfied, and oblivious to their pitiful condition. Christ called them wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked (3:17). How sad.
I have heard Christ’s words in Revelation 3:20 applied to unbelievers with Christ standing at the door of their hearts, but in the context of the passage, Christ is speaking to a church -- to believers! So I am asking you, if you are a Christian, is your door open to let Him in? Have you let Him in this Christmas? Or are you like the church of Laodicea in Revelation chapter 3, neither hot nor cold (3:15), going your own way and smug and at ease in your lifestyle? During this Advent season, is your heart centered around the secular and the selfish or is it centered on your Savior? Perhaps you are more comfortable with the door shut? Those are serious questions to consider because, as we look forward to celebrating Christ’s birth, it is important to remember that He is already here. And He is knocking at your door. Christ is always knocking, calling you to follow Him, to be like Him. Christ comes to you in the homeless person that you pass on the street. He comes in the inconsiderate neighbor next door. He comes in the little child who is hungry, physically and spiritually, and in the elderly person who sits alone in a care facility. He comes in the prisoner, confined with no call from home and not even one Christmas card. He comes in those who are sick and suffering. The truth is, Christ confronts you in every person you meet -- and in those you have not taken the time or the care to meet. Christ calls you through those people. He imposes Himself on your life in the needs of those people.
So even though we celebrate and look forward to Christmas Day, please remember that Christ is already here. And He is knocking. Have you thrown open the door? Will you choose to be available, vulnerable, generous, selfless, laying down your comfort and pleasure in the true spirit of Christmas? Who needs you? Whose life can you bless, in the name of Jesus Christ, by putting their needs before your own? Jesus said, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me (Matthew 25:40). (Read Matthew 25:45 also.)