The theme for this year’s Advent Season celebrations at our church is “What to Expect When You’re Expecting the Son of God”. During this season of Advent, leading up to Christmas Eve and Day, we will be looking at four “words” that can help us on our journey to find the “reason for the season” on that very special of days.
But, first – What IS Advent? Advent is a special season in the Christian year that is celebrated on the four Sundays before Christmas; it is "a season of preparation for Christmas." The Christmas Season begins on Christmas Eve and lasts for twelve days, ending on January 6th.
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means ‘coming’ or ‘visit.’ In the season with this name, we keep in mind both ‘advents’ of Christ, the first in Bethlehem and the second yet to come.”
(More information on Advent can be found here or many other sites found on the Internet.)
The First Sunday of Advent: Waiting gives rise to Hope
This is the time of year that seems to slow down – or speed up; it depends on how you look at it! If you are a mother trying to get everything done for the holidays, it’s definitely on “speed up” mode! So much to do; so little time: gifts to choose and buy; planning the menu for the holiday meal and buying the food; cleaning the house for company; decorating the house; sending out Christmas (or holiday) cards; keeping the kids busy after they get out of school.
But, if you are a child, or a child at heart, waiting for that special day, the time goes in “slow-mo”; like the turtle and the hare in their race…time seems to stand still. And the days can get soooo long and boring, waiting and waiting and waiting some more!
We HOPE the time will speed up so we can enjoy the day of unwrapping the presents and eating the yummy food we may not get any other time of the year. We HOPE we get what we want for Christmas and we HOPE others like what we bought for them. We HOPE our plans for a fun and active holiday season are what we have been waiting for all this time.
But, is that what we really HOPE for at this time of year? Is there not another reason we celebrate? As we journey together during this Advent Season, may our Waiting bring us to the HOPE we want and need – and may we find it where least expected it!