It’s Black Friday so that means it’s time for the Christmas season, right?! Well, not exactly. At least not in the Church calendar. Historically, in the Church liturgical calendar, this Sunday begins the season of Advent. Advent is the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Each Sunday is marked by the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.
The word “advent” comes from the Latin word, “adventus”, which means “coming.” Advent is about preparing ourselves for the coming of Christ. On one hand, we are preparing ourselves for the coming of the Christ child at Christmas. We prepare our hearts and souls to receive the gift of God entering the world in the flesh in the form of a baby born in a manger. We call this the “Incarnation”, which means “embodied in flesh”.
At the same time, Advent is also about preparing ourselves for the promise that Christ will come again someday in final victory, not in the form of a baby born in a manger, but instead with the all strength and power of God to establish the Kingdom here on earth. As Christians, we find ourselves at Advent in a weird time of anticipating something that has already taken place historically, and also anticipating something that is yet to be, but we are promised will happen.
We get to remember and celebrate what God did 2000 years ago, while also celebrating what God is doing in our lives today, and looking forward with hope and anticipation to what God will do in the future. Advent is a great time to try something new in your own life to help you prepare your heart and soul for the coming of Christ. Try a new devotional practice. Try adding prayer into your daily routine. Try finding an opportunity to bless someone else’s life. When we do this, we find that our lives are enriched and we get to experience the coming of Christ in a much more meaningful way.