Celebrating Advent – The Savior With Us

By Danny Muñoz on December 2, 2017

What is at the center of the Bible’s storyline? Why has the advent season been celebrated by Christians near and far for centuries? The answer to both of these questions is actually quite remarkable. You see, because the answer finds itself in the reality that God loves humanity so much that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to unite us to him. Sure, we often hear of the death of Jesus Christ (as we should) and of his glorious rising from the grave. To be sure, both of these events are essential to the salvation available in Jesus Christ, but what is often overlooked is the fact that there would be no empty tomb or sacrificial death without there first being a Birth; there is no Calvary without Bethlehem.

Scripture tells us:  She (Mary) will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:  “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). – Matthew 1:21-23

Two words stand out. Both are names. Jesus is a translation from the Hebrew name Yeshua meaning “Yahweh saves.” Thus Christ is fittingly named – Savior. The other name is Immanuel, meaning “God with us.” God’s movements throughout history as recorded in Scripture are always downward to humankind. He creates, blesses, makes covenants, speaks through prophets, dwells with his people, gives a desire to remain in his presence – all in spite of the sinfulness of human beings. Yet He relentlessly pursues us out of love. Out of a desire to be the God who is with us. The climactic part of God’s mission to be with us finds its beginning – its advent – in the birth of the Son of God. Where God becomes what he created in order to live the life no one could live, die the death all deserved, be raised again to provide new life, ascend to heaven to guarantee God with us and send the Holy Spirit to dwell within us; God with us indeed.

That is the miracle of Advent season. God in Christ is the fullest revelation of God to man and the reconciliation of God and man. And while there are gifts to be exchanged, time with loved ones to be sought, remember that the real meaning of Advent season is God with us. Hallelujah!

Consider celebrating the Advent of the One who is God with us at a weekend service at Bloomingdale Church (Saturday 5:30, Sunday 8:30 & 11am) or Christmas Eve service (Dec 23 5:30pm, Dec 23 11am & 11pm).