by: Larry Teasley
This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. Do you know why we observe Advent?
Advent is the first season of the Christian liturgical year (liturgical means the kind of scriptural and theological emphasis used in worship). Advent begins with the Sunday nearest November 30 and is celebrated the four Sundays before Christmas Day. Advent was established as the first season of the Christian year in the 4th century.
The word advent consists of two Latin words, ad venire, meaning “to come to”. Advent’s message is that Christ is coming to the world. This “coming” may be a past experience, as was the prophet’s promise fulfilled in the babe in the manger. It may be a present experience in that Christ may come anew in a believer's life and thus experience a rebirth of hope and faith. And it can be a future experience since Christ will personally return unpredictably at the end of the world.
Since the message of Advent is the coming of the Lord, its purpose is to prepare His people for His coming. The Old Testament prepared the way for Christ, so must we prepare ourselves for his coming, now before Christmas and at a future time. Thus, Advent has a double significance. It is not only a time of joyous celebration, but also a time of personal evaluation of our Christian living with a hope of a glorious future.
Advent is expressed either in the color purple, as we do, depicting a feeling of dignity, royalty and repentance, or the color blue, which signifies hope. Both are traditional colors of a king’s robe. Advent stresses not so much fulfillment as the anticipation of fulfillment. It is a time to prepare, expect and rejoice - “The Lord is coming”.
See you in the preparation place this Sunday,