Christmas is a complicated time. Parties and concerts crowd the calendar, bringing joy but also disrupting our routines and raising stress levels as we try to accomplish the same tasks in fewer hours. Family time can be something to cherish but for some is especially challenging, either because of loss or conflict or distance. End-of-year reports at work and extra spending at home put the squeeze on resources.

Something about the intensity of December drives me to Advent reflections. I want to receive all the joy this season has to offer in the midst of all the heavier challenges in our world. I signed up for Biola's Advent devotional years before I set foot on campus. I was so impressed by the curation of so many meaningful elements woven together. I've looked forward to it every year.

This year it's my joy to introduce the project with its robust Old Testament focus on Isaiah. Like us, Isaiah didn't get to see the Savior. He was mired in the gritty and complicated realities of a world at war, longing for God's kingdom to come. He's an ideal companion as we also await the fulfillment of God's promises.

If you haven't joined us for Advent before, you're in for a treat. Imagine pairing Scripture with poetry, art, music and thoughtful reflection for a multisensory experience every day, right in your own home. The only thing missing is taste and smell. So brew a cup of your favorite hot beverage and find a comfy chair for a daily experience that will help you savor this season without ignoring the difficulties.

I hope you'll journey with us from now until Epiphany in January as my brilliant colleagues and other friends of Biola help us to think well about the coming of our Savior. We're in this together! Whether you're a long-time believer in Jesus or still kicking the tires, Advent is a time to stare into the darkness together and wait for the light.

Join the Biola community in observing the Advent season through Biola’s Advent Project which will begin December 2.