Why Advent is Every Day of the Year

No matter which way we feel about Christmas, as Christians we are looking forward to the arrival of a day and a gift far more wonderful than we can begin to imagine.​

The celebration of Advent, from the Latin adventus”a coming, approach, arrival,” has a long and rich history in the church. The four Sundays prior to Christmas are set aside to anticipate and prepare for the celebration of the incarnation and birth of Christ on Christmas day. Perhaps your church or family is doing something special for Advent. Observing Advent in worship services, with a calendar, wreath, or devotional are all ways to add practices and habits into our schedule that remind us of the truth that the Christian life is about waiting. Advent is a time we look back in history to the gift of Christ, yet even as we do so we look forward to the day he will come again. ​

 

Each year my mom asks for a Christmas list with something I want, something I need, something to wear and something to read. This year, for something to wear, I asked for a pair of slip on waterproof boots for walking the dog on rainy or snowy mornings. Every time I tie my sneakers in the morning, I look forward to opening those boots on Christmas day. Every time I step in a puddle and water soaks through my socks I mentally countdown the days to December 25. Whether we are young, old or somewhere in between the Christmas season is a time of waiting. For many, the coming of Christmas is an occasion for joy and excitement. For others, it might be a difficult time of loneliness or grief. No matter which way we feel about Christmas, as Christians we are looking forward to the arrival of a day and a gift far more wonderful than we can begin to imagine.​

Advent

The celebration of Advent, from the Latin adventus“a coming, approach, arrival,” has a long and rich history in the church. The four Sundays prior to Christmas are set aside to anticipate and prepare for the celebration of the incarnation and birth of Christ on Christmas day. Perhaps your church or family is doing something special for Advent. Observing Advent in worship services, with a calendar, wreath, or devotional are all ways to add practices and habits into our schedule that remind us of the truth that the Christian life is about waiting. Advent is a time we look back in history to the gift of Christ, yet even as we do so we look forward to the day he will come again. ​

Looking Back at the Gift

Why do we give gifts on Christmas? There are many reasons, but I think the best reason is to commemorate and respond to the gift God gave us in a manger in Bethlehem just over 2000 years ago. Christmas is about celebrating the arrival of the long-awaited gift of Jesus, the Savior God had first promised to Adam and Eve long ago. During Advent, we celebrate the fact that God became man and lived amongst us. The Father sent his beloved Son to live the life of perfect obedience we must but cannot, and to die the death we deserve. Christmas can very easily become all about the gifts we give and receive. Instead, we should set our hearts on the gift of Christ in whom we are blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3). It is because God has so richly blessed undeserving sinners like us that we seek to bless others, not only with Christmas gifts but with acts of love and service each and every day of the year.​

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