What is Advent? (1st of 3 Intro to Advent posts)
There are two different ways Advent can be celebrated.
Churches can have Advent readings and candles on each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
Individuals can do Advent readings and activities beginning December 1.
This year, we are going to do a mix of both
This word Advent has several definitions that will help you understand why using an Advent devotional/reading during this time of the year is helpful. These definitions are taken from www.latin-dictionary.net/search/latin/Advent. My thoughts are in italics.
- arrival, approach - Advent celebrates the arrival of the Messiah - Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. It also reminds Christ-followers of the hope we have that Jesus is coming again.
- invasion, incursion - Advent reminds us of our sin problem. While Jesus did come as a baby in a manger, His purpose was to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). He did this through his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. He is the light in a dark world. He came for God's glory and so that we could have victory over sin.
- ripening - Of the four definitions given this is the one that might seem the strangest at first. However when you consider one of Merriam-Webster's definitions of "ripening" - to bring to completeness or perfection, along with Galatians 4:4-5; Romans 5:6-8, it provides a great visual reminder. The time was ripe for Jesus' birth.
- visit, appearance - Advent is about so much more than a baby in a stable. It is about the appearance of God's grace, Jesus, who brings salvation (Titus 2:11). It also reminds us that Jesus will appear again (Titus 2:13).
We are not commanded to celebrate Advent throughout December. However, we are told to consider who Jesus is and what He has done for us (Hebrews 3:1-2; Hebrews 10:19-25; Hebrews 12:3).
Let’s use this Advent season to do what we should be doing all the time, glorying God by making much of Jesus Christ.