“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”. – Micah 5:2
In popular Christianity, Advent is the season leading up to Christmas, typically the four Sundays preceding December 25. Thinking about this time of preparation is more poignant when we consider the ultimate advent; that time period when the generations of the Old Testament saints waited in the four hundred years of silence. Isiah and other prophets told the Israelites the Messiah would be coming, the people wanted him to come, but no one knew when. And so they waited. And waited. And waited some more.
They may not have known when, but they did know why. They knew the reason. And they searched. And then when Jesus came, many knew it.
The magi knew it because they studied the ancient manuscripts, and knew the signs. The shepherds knew it because an angel told them. Even Herod knew it, because the priests told him. And thirty years later Andrew knew it when he met Jesus. He told his brother, “We have found the Messiah.” The next day, Philip knew it. He told his brother, “We have found him of who the prophets speak…” (John 1:41 and 1:45)
The point is this. The days leading up to Christmas are some of the most special of the year. The music, the events, the fellowship, even the foods and the smells all speak of a precious time. But as we enjoy and celebrate the season, let us recall the most precious aspect of the season, the glad tidings of great joy which shall be for all the people, For “today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)