Death is unavoidable. We wait for death every single day, whether we realize it or not. Mostly, we forget about it, which means that we do not consciously wait: we cover it over with many things—with anything—that might shield its horrid face from our sight.
Advent is a time in which the end of the world is expected—Jesus’ promised return—but for most of us, the world will end in another way; we die. For most of us, Jesus’ return to our sight will happen in this manner, even though we really hope for the cosmic event of His return.
The season of Advent reminds us that the coming of Christ is personal, always. It is never a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. More than anything Advent has to do with who and what will meet me in the end—be it at my death, or at the end of time.
Advent is so important for this very reason: we know that Christ has been born into the world, and that he plans to come again–but whether we live to see the coming Christmas or any Christmas thereafter is another matter.
Advent is the time when we learn for certain that if death comes for us, it does not come alone. The Lord comes to meet us, as well. For Christians this is a marvelous hope and release. It is almost as if Easter comes in winter.