Some Christians either do or don’t celebrate Advent. But whether they do or don’t celebrate it, formally or informally, most Christians – at least nominally – know what it is.
Growing up in an atheist household, I didn’t learn anything about it. Not even, “Some people believe ‘X’ but we know that’s just a primitive myth” (the usual explanation for everything faith-based that we didn’t do).
I’d heard the term, “Advent,” usually associated with a calendar. And I think I knew some kids who had Advent calendars with doors on the dates leading up to Christmas – they got to open one door each day & get whatever was behind the door. So I kind of vaguely knew that an Advent Calendar was a Thing (for some people) and that it was somehow related to Christmas.
So when I became a Christian I figured I needed to learn about Advent. Mostly I was stumped, because I couldn’t find it in the Bible. I learned that it was a tradition rather than a feast or a holiday described in the Bible. Some Christians observe Advent – in a variety of different ways – and some don’t. But the point of it seemed to be to focus on God’s gifts of Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy in anticipation of the Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus.
In all honesty I was really grateful to find a tradition leading up to Christmas other than “shop ’til you drop” – which always rubbed me the wrong way.
But that was last year (my first year as a follower of Jesus). This year I’ve seen 10x as much hand-wringing about “Supply Chain issues” allegedly ruining Christmas as I’ve seen references to Advent.
So … Supply Chain … that’s pretty closely related to what I do in my Day job. I know something about supply chains.
Just to clarify here: the “Supply Chain issues” you hear about in the mainstream news are all related to the “shop ’til you drop” version of secular Christmas, not to the Biblical theology of salvation through Christ Jesus.
But that doesn’t mean there’s not a supply chain in the Biblical theology of salvation. There is. And it’s short.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”– Jesus (John 14:6)
That’s a supply chain, albeit one not usually talked about in terms of supply chains.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.Acts 4:12
And this is what tells us that it is a sole source supply chain; there isn’t an alternative to go to if there are troubles with this one. So it is a critical supply chain – one that must be maintained under all circumstances, at all costs.
Getting back to the idea of supply chain issues ruining Christmas: if you have problems in your relationship with Jesus, that absolutely will ruin a lot of things including Christmas, so it’s critical that you get things right between yourself and Jesus a.s.a.p. The Bible has a lot to say about this, way more than can be recounted in a single Blog post.
But the supply chain issues that the media is talking about relentlessly – what they affect is things in the material world like shopping and travel and the accumulation of stuff.
They don’t touch God’s hope, peace, joy and love, which are always available via that much shorter supply chain whose sole source is Jesus.