What is Advent?

Every year, in late November, the church starts a new year. The colors of paraments are changed (a topic for another I Didn’t Know That.) The church changes focus on readings and hymns. We call this time; Advent. That’s nice, but what does advent mean?

Many English words come for other languages; advent is one of them. Want to speak Latin? Repeat after me; ad-vent-us. Good for you, now you speak another language. Now, take off that “-us” ending (like we do to a lot of Latin words transliterated to English) and we are left with; ad-vent or Advent. Now you know.

Oh, you’d like to know what that Latin word means? How silly of me; it means coming. So, Advent means; Coming.

Now you want to know who is coming? Well, I’ll give you a clue; Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Well, no, we are not celebrating the coming of Santa Clause; it is Jesus we are expecting.

So, Advent is about the purposeful waiting and preparation for the coming of Christ.

But, you say; Jesus already came, nearly 2000 years ago. You are absolutely correct!

The Christian church knows that too, but we also believe Jesus’ teaching and promise that he will come again. So during Advent we remember Jesus’ first coming, that we celebrate as Christmas, and prepare in hope for his second coming – at a time nobody knows except the Father (Matthew 24:36.)

So, in Advent, we make time in our busy schedules to reflect upon what the birth of Jesus means to us and we prepare our lives so that we are ready to encounter Jesus:

  • Loving others as Jesus first loved us
  • Encouraging those who lack hope
  • Bringing joy to the broken of spirit
  • Seeking peace where there is discord and strife

Remember; If you are sick of Christmas by December 25th you did not do Advent correctly.

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