An Introduction to Advent 

Advent is not a word that we use in everyday conversation. For most, “advent”- if it comes up at all – only comes up around Christmastime. Chocolate advent calendars. Advent wreaths. Advent drawers. If you grew up in a secular home, you probably think of advent in terms of counting down the days until Santa’s arrival, tearing open Christmas gifts, and gorging yourself into a sugar coma.

But the Christian celebration of Advent is so much more.

The word advent means “coming” and originates from the Latin word adventus and the Greek word parousia. The season of Advent lasts the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, so while this year it begins on November 28, that is not always the case. The tradition of Advent that is most akin to our modern tradition is thought to have developed as early as the 6th century. The focus, however, was not originally on the coming of Jesus as a baby, but rather the coming of Jesus at the end of time. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages when the celebration of His birth was also added to the tradition. To incorporate both focuses, the first two weeks of Advent look forward to the second coming of Christ, while the second two weeks look back to His first coming.

In history, we stand in the gap of Jesus’ earthly reign. While we certainly have much to celebrate as we look back to Jesus’ arrival to this world and the freedom and righteousness His death afforded us, we are also looking forward to the day when He returns – not as a humble baby, but as a glorious King. 

Over the next four weeks, we will come together as the body of Christ at Meck to redirect our focus from the month of December 2021 to the whole span of history. We’ll spend two weeks looking ahead to what awaits us and two weeks looking back to what was done for us.

Let’s prepare our hearts not for just one day a year, but for an eternity that awaits us.

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