Archive for December, 2012

December 1, 2012

Don’t Forget Advent (December)

We are a few days into the Advent season, a period of four weeks leading up to Christmas.  For centuries, the Church has celebrated Advent.  Advent means ‘coming,’ and appropriately, Christians have prepared their hearts for and preached the message of Jesus’ imminent return to earth.  We adorn the sanctuary with purple, proclaiming that Jesus will return as king.  We read passages like the one from Mark 13, “Be watchful!  Be alert!  You do not know when the time will come.  May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”  During Advent, we awaken one another to the fact that Jesus can come any moment.

Advent occurs at a very special moment during the year.  It is when the days are getting shorter and shorter, the Winter Solstice being the shortest day of the year.  This is symbolic, for the message of Advent is that the days are getting shorter until the coming of Christ to this world.  It is also symbolic that since the days are shorter, we experience more darkness during a 24-hr period.  The days are getting shorter and darker.  Evil thrives in this world, but at the coming of Christ, all things will be made new!  These shortening and darkening days will be transformed when Jesus fully ushers in his new kingdom!

We cannot confuse the Advent Season with the Christmas Season.  The Christmas Season will come, beginning on December 25 and lasting twelve days.  We, however, can easily fall into the mistake of beginning Christmas too early and forgetting about Advent.  The World all around us, it seems, tries to begin the Christmas season earlier and earlier.  I have seen Christmas sales even before Thanksgiving!  This makes sense, since the world profits much from Christmas sales.  The world does not profit from celebrating Advent, from anticipating Jesus’ return.  If anyone is going to proclaim the coming of Jesus as King, it has to be us!

During this Advent Season, spend time ‘awakening’ yourself to the coming of Christ.  Read Mark 13:33-37 and remember that Christ can come any moment.  Prepare your hearts and your lives for the coming of the king.  Make this Advent Season a special season for you and your family.  Christ is coming soon!

Pastor Rich