Every year, for the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, we observe the season of Advent. The word Advent means “a coming or an arrival.” It is a time of contrasts: an honest reflection on the barrenness of our lives apart from Jesus Christ and a joyful celebration of his first coming as a baby born in Bethlehem. Each Sunday during this Advent season, we will emphasize a different aspect of the kingdom of God, heaven coming to earth in the coming of Christ, the Messiah, the King. This great event, the apex of human history, is also one of the greatest contrasts: the King of the Universe comes as a poor little baby, and the Kingdom of God is ushered in and celebrated by the lowly and the forgotten. In this, we have much to ponder and to celebrate.