Advent Means the Coming

November 30, 2014 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment

Today— November 30th— is the first day of Advent, a season in the Christian church year that begins four Sundays before Christmas. Advent means “the coming” (Latin, adventus, arrival), according to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, or “Second Coming” of Christ. The third meaning refers to an important person or thing.

Advent, in the western Christian world, begins usually the last Sunday in November and “counts down” the days until Christmas, not with chocolate and mini toys, but pieces of the story.

DFP-Advent-Calendar-Collage           AC106p14-7Adve.Cal_

Advent represents the long wait that people had in biblical times for the Saviour’s coming, which our church marks in those four Sundays. Advent calendars come in  a wide variety of forms and designs, but the original, I believe, would have had a Bible verse or part of the story that precedes the birth of Christ, behind little windows that a child can open to read the store, one piece at a time. The original intent was in learning the story and counting the “sleeps” until Christmas, since small children’s time concepts are different than that of an adult.

In a different fashion, the Advent wreath marks those four Sundays from the end of November to Christmas. We light one candle at a time and ponder the wait that people had in dark times, reminding us of the light that Jesus represents for us.

In my primary Sunday School class last week, just a bit ahead of the season, we talked about how a person shares good news and what it means to receive good news. I told the story about John the Baptist in the wilderness (Mark 1:1-8) spreading the news of Christ’s coming and reminding people to get ready for him. We also considered what would be good news of people of Jesus’ time as well as in our own lives.

Over the Advent season, I’ll share occasional glimpses of the story unfolding. So watch for it.

Here’s another image you can share with a child from All Saints Press. Or find one in a store and post it at home and mark the days and the story that unfolded that long-ago time that we still celebrate today.

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Entry filed under: authors, books, Christmas, education, faith, seasons, writing. Tags: , , , , .

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