Advent is the name believers give to the season that leads up to Christmas. It’s a Latin word, adventus, that means “Arrival” and “Approach”

That meaning, “arrival” reminds me of airports. When most flights arrive, it’s a small group of people who wait for their loved ones to appear. Folks break into smiles, run to hug loved ones, sigh with joy. I love these small celebrations.

I remember one arrival, though, that involved the entire terminal. Years ago, President Obama visited Austin. Air Force One was parked on the tarmac and traffic was a snarl throughout town. It just so happened that I was flying to a conference that day. I arrived at the gate to see frenzied activity. The crew hoped to get our plane off the ground before the President returned and air traffic ground to a halt. They announced: “If we hurry, we can take off before the President returns to the airport. If we fail, we’ll be grounded for hours.”

I have never seen a crew or passengers move with such focused intensity. People skipped their bathroom breaks, gate-checked bags without complaint, helped each other get on the plane as quickly as possible. There was a concerted, determined effort to NOT be there when the President arrived. We did it! We sacrificed and worked together and moved quickly so we could avoid him.

I wish I could see that level of determination with Jesus’ arrival. Only instead of hustling away, I’d see us we’d work together, sacrifice, focus on moving towards him as quickly as possible.

Can you imagine such an arrival notice going out through the airport? “The Creator of the Earth is coming! God is here and wants to meet every one of you. He’ll make sure you can all be greeted, tended, and safely off again. Everyone, come straight away! Not just ticketed and confirmed passengers, but all you folks working the front counters, and those doing airport security, and the people in baggage claim and the folks at all the bars and shops and stops along the way. Everyone, drop what you’re doing right now and run to see the King of the Ages!”

I wonder, if I heard that arrival notification, what would I do? Would I risk missing my flight or losing my luggage or changing my plans in order to see the Savior? Gosh, I hope so. And yet, when Jesus came to earth and the arrival notifications went out to thousands, only about a dozen made it to his side.

Remind yourself this season that your goal is to welcome your Savior, and you’re willing to risk, sacrifice, even leave things behind in order to greet him at his arrival. I promise you’ll never regret it!

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