The insistent message of Advent is -- don't settle for less than the full power of God Emmanuel, God always with us. Don't allow Advent to be only about picture-perfect scenes or sicky-sweet, candle-lit windows. Advent is about the desperate need for forgiveness and the restoration of hope through a loving relationship with God. Anything less than that doesn't speak to the urgent, heartfelt cry of God's people.
We need God who is our hope -- in person, concrete and tangible. Not a message, not a text, not even just a star in the sky.
Advent is filled with candles, stars and lights. We don't simply want the trappings of Advent; we want a hopeful sense that we're okay, that there's a future, that God is with us, that's there's more to life than tinsel.
"Come to save us!" we cry out to God. And God does.
Defenseless as a baby, God reflects love and invites compassion.
And that is a message of hope.