Introduction by Janis Van Keuren
At first glance, one may think Advent is that season of preparation to celebrate the coming of Christ 2,000 years ago. But Advent Living is an entirely different preparation. It’s the molding of our hearts on a daily basis for the personal Advent of Christ that began when we welcomed Jesus into our hearts. From the beginning, our time of waiting and hoping for the coming of Christ colors every day of our lives–not just the four weeks prior to celebrating Christ’s birth.
This past month, I’ve had the privilege of working on Mary’s launch team for her new book The Advent Narrative: The Life You Didn’t Know You Were Already Living (click on title to purchase at Amazon), I’ve come to a deeper understanding of Advent. Mary compares our life-long Advent journey to that of the Israelites trudging through the wilderness. There was hope in their hearts. God does not leave us in the wilderness but leads us to a place of rejoicing because Jesus has not only come but is here with us every day. (Mary’s Post Below)
An Invitation to Advent Living by Mary Geisen
I remember the first nudge, the quickening of my spirit followed by an intake of breath. It was a time when life was overtaking me and catching my breath was hurried at best. A seed was planted that day as I realized that life did not need to feel overwhelming on a daily basis. Slowing down was possible and stepping back from busyness was not just a saying but a choice.
The Advent season was drawing near and this was my first step into Advent living. I always celebrated the season of Advent with my family and the church since I could remember, but this year was the first time I accepted the invitation to Advent living.
I found the prospect of the upcoming holiday season was not as daunting when I chose to add margin to the family traditions. Joy blossomed when I focused on what was most important to me in that season. A renewal of hope and the discovery of the person of Jesus led me to a new take on how to wait well in the wilderness.
What is God’s Invitation?
God always has an open invitation available for us to follow Him. It is free and full of the gift of grace when we say “yes.” God also invites us to walk through every chapter of our lives–the good, the hard, the challenging, the grief-filled, and joyful–as Advent people.
When I began the journey to diving deeper into the season of Advent, I began with the beginning of story. God’s creation of the world is where light met dark and hope sprung forth for the first time. My own story mirrored God’s story of new life in that I was living in a wilderness where I wasn’t sure if I would ever make it through to the other side. But I did.
When we walk into God’s story, we accept the greatest gift of all– salvation. We can choose to remain stuck or we can choose Jesus. We can walk with our heads down or lift our eyes to see what the Father has created for us.
“This Advent we are walking into story. The binding of God’s story with our own. The unfolding of God’s grace-gift and the receiving of this beautiful gift as our own. For it is with and by grace that we will find our own way along the path of our lives. Advent marks our own arrival into God’s story. I pray you remember that pivotal moment—the time when Jesus entered your heart, and you said “yes” to the Savior of the world.”
The Advent Narrative
You accept the invitation to Advent living and now you wonder “what’s next?” I wish it was as simple as saying “yes” and then everything would fall into place.
What I know is that God will never leave your side. He will uphold and uplift your story as you continue to lean into Him. God never stops working to write a beautiful story for you even when you can’t see the results. Advent living is laced with hope, peace, and joy as you remain present to all that is happening in your life. It is an everyday choice that keeps us looking forward in a world that strives to keep us stuck.
“Advent living is the unique time that we as Christians are navigating for such a time as this. The present age does not have the last word, but God does. He stands in the gap when we flounder, raises us on His shoulders when we fall, and encourages us to remain faithful to receive the abundance He has for us. As scary as it is to take the first step when we don’t know what’s next, God promises a life rich in blessings and grace for our mistakes. This is how Advent living expands our lives of kingdom living.”
The Advent Narrative
A New Advent Resource
Let’s walk this journey together. My new book, The Advent Narrative: The Life You Didn’t Know You Were Already Living is a wonderful resource to learn about Advent living and to dive deeper into choosing Jesus as your Hope everyday of your life. It is available now on Amazon Click HERE.
May this book lead you on your own discovery of Jesus and Advent living. May you learn a new way to live your best life in the “not yet” and find that Jesus has never left your side on the way.
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash
Mary Geisen is the author of Brave Faith: A 31 Day Devotional Journey. She is a blogger, a speaker, a lover of coffee and deep, soul-filled conversations. Her greatest joys are her roles as a mom, mother-in-love, and Mimi. As a writer and follower of Jesus, God has led her through wilderness seasons, taught her how to walk in brave faith, and has drawn her into closer relationship with Him. Mary wants to live in a way that others are empowered to walk in brave faith through their own in-between, middle seasons of life.
Hope you enjoyed this journey into the depth of Advent Living. May you begin this Advent season with that new approach as you look forward each day to the coming of Christ.