I mean, I love Advent! It's my favorite time of the year...and really, it's not even close. You've got cold weather, Christmas decorations, and the already/not-yet coming of Christ, all at once? I'm in!!
People know this about me. :)
So it's been a great pleasure over the past few years to help head up some of the Advent preparations and celebrations in some of the churches we've served in (Oklahoma, Poland, and now the UK).
Last Sunday night we were asked to lead a sort of "Introduction to Advent" evening at the Ashton Church of the Nazarene. It was a great time of remembering, reflection, and renewal; I think we're all a lot more excited about the almost-here-ness of Advent as a result.
For those of you who might be unfamiliar, Advent is a season of four Sundays before Christmas when we remember and re-tell the story of a God who loved the people God created so much that he came to earth to live and love as a human (starting as a newborn baby). Amazing stuff!
If you'd like to learn more -or maybe just brush up on some British Advent traditions- some basic information from last week's "Advent 101" is enclosed below! :)
Advent is the first season of the the Christian calendar year, and thus begins in the chill of winter. The word "advent," comes from the Latin adventus, meaning "coming" or "arrival." During this season of Advent, we await the coming of Jesus, our Messiah.
It is not only we who wait, however; all of creation seems also to be in waiting. Trees wait to bloom again, and plants wait to blossom. While we as a people symbolically anticipate Christ’s arrival as a babe on Christmas morning, we also eagerly await His second coming.
For centuries, Christians have used the Advent wreath to symbolize this sacred season of longing and expectation. The candles we light each week will mark our progress as a people through this period of hope and anticipation for our coming Lord.