What Is Advent?
The church has a yearly calendar, called the church year, which is different from our secular calendar. While we celebrate a new year in the United States on January 1, the church year begins with the season of Advent. The season of Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas day. This year (2012) that Sunday is December 2.
The word Advent means “coming,” and it reminds us of the fact that Jesus, the Messiah, came to his people and will come again. Jesus was born as a baby, gave his life on the cross, and was raised from the dead. And Jesus will come again as King of kings and Lord of lords to reign forever.
Advent, therefore, is a time of preparation. We prepare to celebrate our Lord’s first coming, and we prepare for His return to take us home. Because of this, Advent has a focus of repentance. We are reminded of our need for a Savior. But there is also a theme of joy, as we recall that Jesus came in mercy and grace to free us from our sin.
The colors for Advent are blue (in our congregation) or purple. Both are colors intended to remind us of our need to repent. The color blue is also a color of hope.
The Bible readings in Advent focus on prophecy and fulfillment. As Christmas draws near, the stories of Mary and Joseph gain prominence.
On Sundays during Advent this year we will be reminded that Jesus is going to come again someday. How should we live while we wait for Him to return?
Sunday, December 2…………. The King will return: so lift up your heads!
Sunday, December 9…………. The King will return: so get ready!
Sunday, December 16……….. The King will return: so rejoice!
Sunday, December 23……….. The King will return: so tell the story!
We will also have special Advent worship services on Wednesday evenings December 5th, 12th, and 19th. These services are preceded by soup suppers at 6:00 pm, followed by worship at 7:00 pm. Our focus on these three worship services will be on prayer, one of the five foundations of faith we discover in Acts chapters 1-2.
You will receive some helpful tools to help you in your praying, and we will spend time in prayer, preparing for the celebration of the birth of Jesus and for His return.