I love Christmas. More specifically I enjoy the Christmas holidays in the community God has sent us to, and I love Advent. What's the difference? Elliot Grudem explains the season of Advent this way,
The celebration of Advent (which means “coming” or “arrival”) helps us focus our attention on Jesus Christ’s birth and ministry as well as his promised return. It starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Celebrating Advent helps us cut through all the distractions of the Christmas season and focus our attention on Jesus Christ’s birth and ministry as well as his promised return. Since we can’t anticipate the day or the hour of Christ’s return, we are filled with both a sense of joyful expectation and humble reverence, with our spiritual focus being on lives of prayer and preparation. Throughout the season we are constantly reminded that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah and Savior of the World. Learning to Advent Together
Advent is all about anticipation giving way to celebration, for the Father has sent His Son. It is a season where God's people exult in the incarnation. Immanuel - God is with us! And just as there is little point in talking about the coming of Jesus without also talking about the cross of Jesus, so we must also see the the sending of the son connected to the sending of the church. Jesus said, "As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you."
Do not let this connection slip by you this season. As the Father has sent the Son (advent), so Jesus sends us (advance). Immanuel means "God with us," but he has come to us to save us, and then to send us. We should marvel at the One who was sent, and be moved to follow him as those who have been sent in his name.