The acts of advent, those actions that advent generates, include adoration, activism, and building community. Any reading of the birth stories, those stories that are designed to shape how we understanding Advent, reveals how central it is to God to form God’s people. Notice these words of the angel to Mary from Luke 1:
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Mary’s son, the king, will “reign over the house of Jacob.”
Mary’s son, the king, will reign over a “kingdom that will never end.”
And when Mary sings her Magnificat, she ends with these lines:
Mary sees the benefits she experiences as benefits, not so much for herself, but for God’s servant Israel, and the act of God that proves God’s faithfulness to Abraham and his descendants. Christmas for Mary is an Israel event.