SHINE Daily

The Advent of Hope

"Where is your Christmas spirit?!"
 
I hear this every year from at least one person. They are most likely responding to my inner curmudgeon, who rears his ugly head from time to time muttering "bah humbug" or "you kids get off of my lawn!"
 
Now, don't get me wrong, I love the holiday. I love the decorations, the movies, the presents, and all that goes with it. I'm just inclined to turn my nose up to commercialism and the quest to create long-lasting happiness from what can be bought. It's elusive and a fabrication we fall for again and again. You see? I told you the curmudgeon could rear his ugly head!
 
So, imagine my grumbling when I saw the Advent calendar from.... Reese’s. Oh, yes, I love the candy. I would go so far as to say it is the finest peanut butter cup on the planet. But an Advent calendar? I'm thinking that is very much a Christmas nonstarter for me.
 
 
That was my initial thought. We'll come back to the calendar in a moment, but first, let's talk about this Advent countdown to Christmas from a Christian perspective.
 
The word "advent" actually comes from a Latin word "advenio," which means "coming to." So, we take four weeks leading up to Christmas day to acknowledge this great coming of our Savior into a lost and broken world. On this first week of Advent, we focus on hope. Specifically, hope from Biblical prophecy that tells us a Savior is coming! We can read about this hope right in Scripture:
 
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)
 
"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light -- on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." (Isaiah 9:2)
 
An Advent wreath has four candles. The first candle is lit to commemorate the hope we find through prophecies. We are told light is coming into the darkness. We know this light is Jesus.
 
Today, we turn on the news, scroll through the feed on our phones, or tap the alert texted to us, and we get instant access to a world full of sorrow anytime we want. Lord knows that we need light! This light, this truth, is the only hope we have, and it has come through God’s only son - Jesus. The sweetness of a Savior is something to savor!
 
Can you see where I’m going?
 
The “sweetness of a Savior.”
 
So, if you look at the Reese’s Advent calendar in that light, it really makes sense. In fact, I think it makes perfect sense.
 
Dear Lord, please let there be Reese’s Cups in heaven.
 
Amen!
 

Co-host of Afternoons with Jack & Erin on SHINE-FM.