Advent is . . . an anticipation
“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”
(Jeremiah 33: 14)
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Advent is “the fact of an event happening, an invention being made, or a person arriving.” For example, the advent, or the arrival, of the internet changed communication and information processing.
In the Christian sense, Advent is an anticipation of Christ’s second coming, as well as the anticipation of celebrating Christ’s first coming over 2000 years ago.
For me, Advent feels more like the Cambridge definition. Advent means that God has arrived, God amongst us, assuming our likeness, having become flesh in Jesus Christ.
The present age of which Paul speaks has arrived, where we know of the merciful, infinitely loving, gracious God present on earth as a human, and throughout all things, as anticipated in the Old Testament.
In this present age God on earth is not a cloud, or a pillar of fire, or a burning bush, but one like us, fully human yet divine. He is one who understands us; one we can understand, like a brother, a friend, a father, and a newborn baby; one still present through the Spirit, bread, wine and water.
Advent is our chance to focus on the generosity of God who came to be with us in this present age, and, with joyful anticipation, will in the age to come. Jeremiah continues to be fulfilled.