Here’s an Advent illustration for kids — and those of us who used to be kids and remember what it was like. Suppose you and your mom get separated in the grocery store, and you start to get scared and panic and don’t know which way to go, and you run to the end of an aisle, and just before you start to cry, you see a shadow on the floor at the end of the aisle that looks just like your mom. It makes you really happy and you feel hope. But which is better? The happiness of seeing the shadow, or having your mom step around the corner and it’s really her?
That’s the way it is when Jesus comes to be our High Priest. That’s what Christmas is. Christmas is the replacement of shadows with the real thing.
With it’s transition from darkness into increasing light, Advent symbolically shows me my journey from the weaknesses I acquire because I live in a fallen world, to the enabling grace offered to me in Christ’s life, ministry, atonement, crucifixion, and resurrection. His ministry to me is individual, tailored to my specific needs. He saves me by changing me, transforming me, and making me into something I am not now. He can convert me—if I will let Him—into a fit traveler, able to walk the covenant path that leads through the temple and back to my Heavenly Father. Jesus willingly walks with me, inviting me to take on His yoke (which is easy) and to exchange my burden for His (which is light). Advent reminds me to invite the Light of the World to illuminate my life. O come, o come, Emanuel!”