The Meaning of Advent


*During this month you will see a daily posting of Advent devotions. Some of them have been written by me, others by friends who are clergy or laity. The topics range from personal struggle to thoughtful questioning, but all of them are designed to lead each of us into the wonder, mystery and hope of Christmas. This is the opening introduction:

Many of us have heard about Advent, but have never known its purpose or understood its importance. Through these short writings shared by some of our brothers and sisters in Christ, part of the Body of Christ, it is my prayer that we each may recognize a new vision of the hope we have in the birth of a little baby born over 2000 years ago.

The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means coming. Christians in our community, our denomination, our country, and around the world celebrate the four weeks before Christmas as a time to reflect on and anticipate the “coming” of Christ at Christmas as well as the “coming” of Christ at the end of time. As we prepare for the birth of Christ let us remember God’s great love for us—a love so vast that Christ lived and died as one of us. Preparing for the final coming of Christ is a reminder of the glory and grandeur that we will one day share in the Kingdom of God.

Advent is a time to discern the yearning that runs through the empty places in our souls. It helps us learn to wait in patience for that longing to be filled rather than masking it or deadening it with meaningless activities like wandering through the local mall, standing in front of the open refrigerator or pantry, or sitting frozen in front of the television. Advent is also a time to embrace the silence and stillness in our lives and listen more carefully and see more clearly the movement of the Spirit of God. Finally, Advent is a time to rejoice with hope and anticipation that what we say we believe will, in fact, be revealed in the ordinary and extraordinary moments of our everyday lives.

May you find a glimpse of God’s spirit in these pages and through these words offered up to His glory.

In Christ’s love,
Pat

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