Advent is the season in which we reread and relive the experience of ancient Israel as it longed for the coming of the Messiah. It is also a time to reflect on the infancy narratives of Jesus which have enriched the lives of believers through the centuries. As an extension of Israel's longing for the Messiah, the infancy accounts serve as overtures to the writings of the evangelists, and stand as bridges connecting the Old and New Testaments. Advent of the Savior focuses on this connection of past to present so that we may deepen our longing for the Messiah's coming again and ask God in our own day to be Emmanuel, "God with us."
The infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke express the basic truths about the divine and human mystery of Jesus Christ. Advent of the Savior reminds us that it is through these truths that we are called to move from longing for our Savior to hope in his coming again.
Stephen J. Binz is a biblical scholar, award-winning author, and popular speaker. He studied Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and Jerusalem, and has developed dozens of books and programs in biblical theology and spirituality, including The God of Freedom and Life: A Commentary on the Book of Exodus, Panorama of the Bible: Old Testament and Panorama of the Bible: New Testament (Liturgical Press). He offers keynotes and workshops at church conferences and leads pilgrimages to the lands of the Bible. Information about his work may be found at Bridge-B.com.