The Meaning of Advent … And Why You Don’t Want to Miss It

December 13, 2013 | 11 comments

The snow fell like a whisper the other day.

I had my back turned on the frosty windows, because, you know: Stuff. I had some really important stuff going on.

We miss miracles because of our “really important stuff.”



Snow makes no noise when it drops from the sky, nor when it touches the ground, and I suppose you have to be paying attention to see the miracles that whisper down; you have to listen until those whispers get loud in your own front yard.

But I wasn’t paying attention to whispers. Because, … stuff.

Let me tell you this: There are divine invasions from heaven, landing like morning manna, for a waiting world with its back turned. It happened about 2,000 years ago, and it still happens today. In front yards.

And mangers.

And wherever you are this moment.

I have excuses. You do, too. We”ve got things going on, right? Conferences calls. With important people. Also? While we are waiting for the phone to ring, we straighten pillows, throw out old onions from the crisper drawer, and make important decisions about which wrapping paper to use on our daughters’ Christmas gifts, all the while making mental notes and checklists.

I don’t look out the windows like I used to, back when I was praying down those manna miracles. When I was desperate for Jesus.

I’ve gotten lazy.

Heaven comes down, and we’re busy with our box-checking, obligation-meeting, corner-sweeping lives.

But the miracle.still.happens. Immanuel comes anyway. In a whisper. Even when our backs are against the windows.

My God, there You are, when we are completely oblivious. You fall like winter snow when no one sees. Like the way You did when You divinely invaded Bethlehem and all the world.

So what is Advent? What is it, really?

The word “advent” comes from adventus in Latin, which means “coming.” It’s a sort of sacred forecast — like holy snow — a reminder to look out your window for what’s about to whisper-fall.

Listen for the whisper. It might feel like a shout in your bones.

Who wants to miss the miracle?

snow angel

Here is comes now, see it?

This is Advent.

Good gracious, we’re in the midst of it. Manna on the yard, and in our very own souls.

Let the wrapping paper wait. Don’t worry about buying the bows this year, or stringing more lights. You’re good. It’s all good.

Fall om your knees. Take off your shoes. The weary world rejoices.

Let the Cheerios pester the corner of your kitchen a while longer. Sit a spell. Behold the miracle that changed everything for you. Watch its flame, how it is blazing down through the cosmos toward your very own soul.


Dear God, help us. This is hard, hard, work in America. We are the biggest miracle-missers on the planet. Lure us to the window, to see.

Behold, the light of the world is coming. We don’t want to miss it. And I’m sure of it: You don’ t want us to, Lord. You’re out on our yards. Because of us. For us.


by | December 13, 2013 | 11 comments


  1. Amy Hunt

    To see is worship.

    Yes to this!

  2. ro elliott

    I feel I am in a season of lament…coupled with great joy and praise….I am seeing all the ways I missed these moments…miracles…how I gave a quick glance…how When He fCe these miracles my thanks did not sink deeply…while I am seeing how I have walked half awake…He is waking me up…I am coming more alive….seeing Him everywhere…living with deeper love and graditude…thankliving!!!! And isn’t wonderful grace…that He never tires of wooing us to His Love…and yes…and amen…may we continue to let His Light set us a flame with His Love!

  3. HisFireFly

    Amen. Just amen!

  4. GrammaT

    Being awaken from a sound sleep earlier each morning to spend time with God seems to be my pattern this advent. He has given me a good nights rest and I am so ready to see what He has for me today! Is that just crazy when all the world is dark and I sit in silence remembering all those loved ones that come to the front of my heart and actually enjoy it? Normally I would be wanting rest, but I am finding rest omes to me when I get up and cuddle in with God.

  5. Shelly Miller

    Beautiful Jennifer, your heart is radiant.

  6. Mia

    Dear Jennifer
    I think the Western world as a whole are thinkers, always wanting to rationalize everything to feel that we have life neatly worked out. We cling to that feeling of having control over our lives through our busyness and miss the beauty of not just small miracles, but just life in general. In the Eastern countries people are much more prone to the mysterious and therefore “see” these things much easier! Great post, my friend!
    Blessings XX

  7. pastordt

    Love this, Jen. Miracle-missers – yeah, that about says it all. Praying we’ll all see the miracles in the next 12 days or so – thank you for your always thoughtful writing.

  8. Joy Lenton

    Thank you for this wonderful post, Jennifer. It is sheer beauty and poetry that speaks straight to the soul, manna for hungry hearts and water to the thirsty! Yes, He has come. Immanuel is with us. And we so desperately need to pause from the busyness. Wait. Be still, and listen for those snow-soft steps indicative of His presence in our hearts and lives. Miracle-missers? Sadly, we’re all guilty of that.
    Still God comes down. He brings Love and grace for the weary and worn, the jaded and joyful, the messed up and miserable, the sorrowful and scornful, and “we don’t want to miss it”. Let’s open ourselves to receive and give Him due homage and worship. Christ is with us ~ always. Amen.

  9. leaculp

    Absolutely one of the best posts ever! And, might I add, one I needed to read. HE gave us the greatest gift of all, how on earth can we not take the time to give HIM the time HE deserves. And, we’ll be all the more blessed because of it. Thanks for the conviction!!! Blessings!


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