The word Advent is from the Latin adventus
which means “to come, coming or arrival”. The season consists of the four
Sundays prior to Christmas day. The historic church, not until sometime in the
4th century AD, began specifically setting aside this time for Christians
to remember the truth and revelation of God to the world in the person of Jesus.
The church fathers envisioned Advent to represent and reproduce in the minds of
the people two particular things. First, to be reminded of the darkness and
despair reminiscent of the ages prior to the Messiah’s coming. Secondly, they wanted to create a time of yearning and hope within one’s heart for the return of
Jesus. In Christ a savior has come to men and women. He came into the world in an
unexpected and ordinary manner and lived an unforeseen life. Yet it is through
these humble and unexpected beginnings that God has physically revealed himself to men and women for all ages.
The purpose of the Advent season
is to be intentional to read, remember and reflect on the stories of the coming Messiah. It is a time to affirm that he has
come, that he is present in the world today, and that he will come again to
bring justice and peace and to usher in the final stages of his kingdom on earth.
Its only human nature to get caught up in the materialistic stuff of the holiday
season. We totally miss what the season is about and it's no wonder we buy stuff and get stuff for all the wrong reasons and intentions.
This Advent at the Meetinghouse
we’ll try to take some time to stop, read, and reflect on selected Scripture
readings. We'll think about what it means to live out the truth of Advent and what that means for the decisions we make regarding our Christmas shopping. The question is, how can we reflect the same hope and joy that was given to us in Christ as we live expectantly waiting for his return.