Jesus Christ has come and will come again. This is the hope of the Church, whom He has redeemed and purchased by His blood. His coming is our joy, our treasure and our eager expectation.
Advent, formed from a Latin word meaning coming or arrival, refers to the coming of Christ. Traditionally Advent season is the celebration of the first coming of Christ to the world and to draw anticipation for His second coming. This season is a time for reflecting and rejoicing, watching and waiting, and a time to soak in the promises of God and to look forward to those promises fulfilled with prayer and preparedness.
History and Traditions
(from The Village Church)
The Advent season officially commences on the fourth Sunday (Advent Sunday) before Christmas and continues until Christmas Eve or Day. Various theological traditions celebrate the season through an array of customs. Perhaps the most popular tradition associated with the season is the use of an Advent calendar to mark the month of December. Modern Advent calendars typically include 24 “windows” that are opened (one per day) to reveal a poem, portion of Scripture, story, picture or small gift. As more windows are opened, expectancy increases in awaiting the final day, which represents the first advent of Christ.
Another popular tradition involves the use of an Advent candle or candles. This symbol is borrowed from the emphasis throughout Scripture of Jesus Christ being the Light of the World. (Matt. 4:16; John 1:4-9, 8:12) Those using one candle burn a little each day to mark the progression of the season. Each day a bit more of the candle is burned to represent the anticipation of Christmas. Others use a wreath with five candles in the middle. Each week a new candle is lit in anticipation of the final lighting on Christmas Eve or Day.
You also often see an emphasis on particular colors in the celebration of Advent. Whereas modern Christmas celebrations focus on red and green, the historical colors of Advent are purple (symbolizing royalty) and blue (symbolizing hope). Given the association of purple with Easter and Lent, modern Advent celebrations often emphasize blue.
Our Advent guide serves as a springboard to help you with finding sound resources that fit you and/or your family's schedules this Advent season. Our goal is that the resources recommended in our Advent guide will draw excitement and expectations for the coming Christ to make all things new, as well as a reflecting on the gracious gift God has given to you by sending His only Son to live the life you can’t, to die the death you deserve and conquering death.
Don’t let another Christmas season fly by without taking the opportunity to remember and reflect upon all God has done and will do!