About advent (and æbleskiver)


It’s advent (Latin: adventus – ‘arrival’ from ‘advenire’, to ‘ad’, come ‘venire’, thanks Mac dictionary!). It’s a time of looking forward to Christmas later this month. It’s a time of celebrating that Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of the world, came to this world 2000 years ago. And it’s a time of looking forward to his second coming where he will gather to himself all those who have put their faith and trust in him. Advent is a time of expectation. Lots of people look forward to Christmas. Many people get very religious once a year, and for a month every year Jesus Christ is everywhere, even in the most post-Christian countries such as my own home country, Denmark.

I was reminded of that advent can also be a time of fear. Christ coming back to judge all those who have not put their faith in him will be a horrible day. Advent for non-believers (whether it’s your nice grandmother or some mass murderer who doesn’t believe in Jesus) means that they will have to face the eternal consequences of hell and separation from God and goodness, because they rejected Christ as Savior and Lord.

But advent is first and foremost a time of hope. Christ hasn’t returned yet. It’s still a season of grace. It’s still a time where thousands of people every year enter the kingdom of God and get to participate in Christ’s life today and for all eternity. It’s not too late to listen to God’s voice calling you to come to him. Advent reminds us that Christ is coming. And it reminds me of my favorite Christmas verse in the Bible. It’s a simple little verse in the beginning of the gospel of Matthew: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means “God with us“” (Matthew 1:23). It’s a direct quote from Isaiah 7:14 where the prophet Isaiah got this vision from God that some day God would be with his people. God would walk among his children. God would become a man.

A completely unbelievable and almost absurd thought for Isaiah and the people who heard his prophecies. God here on earth? God as a man? It was blasphemy to even consider the fact that God would become one of us. They didn’t understand that this was God’s ultimate plan for bringing mankind back to him. God knew that if he wanted a relationship based on love and joy and not on fear, he would have to come in the form of a human being. He had to empty himself, and become one of us (Philippians 2). Eugene Peterson’s version of John 1:14 in his paraphrase of the Bible called The Message puts what Christ did in this way: “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood“. The living, eternal God moved into the neighborhood!

And the miracle happened. Christ came. Immanuel came. God was with us. And God is with us today. God is a reality in my heart today. He has chosen to live there. He is changing me more and more into the likeness of his son through the trials and joys of my life (Romans 8:28-29). And I’m looking forward to Jesus coming back again. I don’t fear that day at all. I know that no matter what happens. No matter what I think, feel, do or don’t do, I’m safe. I’m bought by Christ on the Cross. I belong to him. And nothing and nobody can ever snatch me out of his hand (John 10:28).

I long for the day where I will get to see Jesus face to face on the new earth. I long to be and live on a perfect earth without any pain, sadness and problems. I long to be truly free. Free to be me. Free to be who I was always meant to be. I get to see more and more of who I truly am in Christ, and I’m thankful for that, but I long for the day where I won’t have any more questions, but can just rest fully knowing God and fully knowing myself.

So happy December! May it be a time of thinking about Jesus Christ and the miracle of God being with us. God being in us. God accepting everybody who calls on the name of Jesus as his children. And may you also remember and look forward to Christ’s second coming. I pray with the authors of the Bible: “Christ come soon! I long to see you! I understand that you wait with your coming, because you want more people to accept you as Lord and Savior. And I pray that I may play my part in helping more people see who you are and receive life in you while I wait for you to come!

Here is a video with Selah’s beautiful version of “O come, O come Emmanuel” from their excellent Christmas cd “Rose of Bethlehem” which is definitely worth the $6.99!!

Blessings, Torben – who is enjoying the beautiful Christmas tree we got, and is excited that a local store has Danish Christmas stuff, so I can make Christmas delicacies such as æbleskiver (using this to make it), glögg, risalamande, jødekager and vanillekranse – good stuff!!

2 Responses to “About advent (and æbleskiver)”

  1. December 6, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Glögg och risalamalta i all ära… Men vad är jul utan Julmust? Fast det kanske inte nåt ni danskar förstått er på än?

    Dessvärre finns det ingen skandinavisk mataffär i här i Moldaven…

  2. December 6, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Aner ikke hvad Julmust er overhovedet….Så nej, det er ikke noget, vi danskere gør i. Men håber du kan få lavet nogle köttbullar på en eller anden måde i Moldova 🙂

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