The Advent Alternative

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All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). — Matthew 1:22–23

Advent is about waiting, anticipating, yearning. Advent is the question, the pleading, and Christmas is the answer to that question, the response to the howl. There are moments in this season when I don’t feel a lot like Christmas, but I do feel like Advent.

Advent gives us another option beyond false Christmas cheer or Scrooge. Advent says the Baby is coming, but He isn’t here yet, that Hope is on its way, but the yearning is still very real. Advent allows us to tell the truth about what we’re grieving, without giving up on the gorgeous and extravagant promise of Christmas, the Baby on His way.

Consider Advent a less flashy but still very beautiful way of being present in this season. Give up your false and failing attempts at merriment, and thank God for a season that understands longing and loneliness and long nights. Let yourself fall open to Advent, to anticipation, to the belief that what is empty will be filled, what is broken will be repaired, and what is lost can always be found, no matter how many times it’s been lost.

God fulfilled so many promises when Jesus came as a baby in Bethlehem. Dare to hope and trust that He will fulfill His promises to you as well.

Excerpted with permission from Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist, copyright Zondervan.

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Your Turn

Grieving, longing, waiting, and all the unfulfilledness that plagues us in the broken world feels even more poignant at Christmastime when the carols and decorations whisper to us that everything should be perfect, sparkling, and cheery… but it’s not. Today, let’s be reminded that our disappointments and heartbreaks are very real, but our very real Hope is on the way! His promises are true! And He’s coming again. Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We would love to hear from you. ~ Devotionals Daily

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Shauna Niequist
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Shauna Niequist

Shauna Niequist grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. As an author and blogger, Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life - friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God. Shauna is married to Aaron, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek. Aaron and Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac.

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