WHAT IS ADVENT?
The word advent is derived from the Latin word for coming, or in our case, the coming of the Lord. The season of Advent is traditionally a time of preparation for Christmas, and its observance dates from the sixth century in Gaul (France).
Advent’s first celebrations where to encourage Christians to remember the promise of the Lord’s return, but it didn’t take long for them to associate it with His first coming through Jesus and his birth in Bethlehem. Advent is the spiritual equivalent of preparing your home (heart and community) for a guest to arrive.
This guest? Well, the guest is God.
The Jewish people looked forward to the coming of God’s kingdom, when there would be a new order of justice and righteousness, where God would come again to dwell and live among His people. The early Church saw that the kingdom had been anticipated and experienced through the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, Jesus, God made flesh had come. God himself had visited His people, but even so they still prayed Maranatha, “Our Lord Come,” looking forward to a second coming and the final consummation of all things.
This season, as you journey in prayer through this these Scripture readings, reflect on the growing anticipation of the first coming of Christ and of that day when the prayer, “Thy kingdom come,” is finally and fully answered. The scriptures chosen are meant to capture the Advent themes of waiting, preparation, hope and joy, the coming of the Messiah, and a new world. The primary emphasis will be taken from the Gospel of Matthew. The Gospel readings of each of the four Sundays in Advent will be the material for our preaching this season as well.
Spend this season singing, praying and meditating on the meaning of God’s kingdom, of God’s promises to make His home with us, to bring his justice and peace to the earth, of the ultimate hope of new creation. I pray this journey enhances your Christmas celebration and builds within you a deep kingdom anticipation and expectation.
Pastor Allan Theobald
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and to put on the armor of light,now in the time of this mortal life, in which your Son Jesus came to us in great humility; that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.