You can describe the Advent Season by using this simple phrase: a coming or an arrival. But it really means more than that single phrase alone can tell. Merriam-Webster actually defines Advent as: An arrival that has been awaited; especially something that is momentous. I like that! It's more than just a normal, average, coming, or arrival. It's a long-awaited, greatly expected, monumental one! Can you feel the tension and excitement in that description? The amazing thing the Bible does is that it allows us to discover a gradual revealing of this long-expected coming throughout its pages. Let's start at the beginning and experience Advent as it unfolds.
It all began with perfection.
Adam and Eve created to live in perfection with God and all creation. They with him and he with them. Walking and talking and communing with one another.
We catch a small glimpse of the depth of their relationship when the Bible reveals that Adam and Eve were so accustomed to God’s presence, that they knew the sound of his footsteps.
He with them. They with him. Knowing one another in perfect unity.
But sin entered to mar the perfection and separation from God would now become their familiar. Banished from the Garden to protect against eternal estrangement and weighted down with the consequences of disobedience, Adam and Eve were given this hope: God spoke that a child from their union would come. This child would have his heel bruised but would one day, ultimately, crush the enemy that had been set loose.
Adam and Eve heard and believed. So, they waited.
So, they waited.
Time goes on and God calls a man named Abram to go to a place that Abram did not know of. On the journey, God promises to give him a great name, Abraham, make a great nation out of his descendants, and that through his people all the world would be blessed. Abraham heard and believed. So, he waited.
That great nation multiplies and endures, and God delivers them from even greater enslavement and oppression to bring them through the desert to the mountain of Sinai. Here, through given instructions to the prophet Moses, God designs a tabernacle to be built. A dwelling for his presence to reside called The Most Holy Place. God, manifested in smoke and fire, would be their God and they would be his people.
And once again, God dwells with man.
But the constant shedding of blood and the rituals of sacrifice serve only as a daily reminder that this is not the Garden, and that this dwelling is not the same.