Growing up In a non-denominational Christian home, I knew nothing of the Advent season. No one in my immediate circle observed Advent, and I would guess also knew very little of it. It wasn't until my exposure to the Anglican tradition that I began to learn and later came to appreciate the beauty of Advent and accept the invitation to find solace in the waiting.
The Christian faith is marked by waiting, as countless biblical stories illustrate the tension of waiting and hoping for what is unseen and, in many cases, what is unfathomable, but nothing compares to waiting for the birth of the light of the world and, ultimately, His return.
Adventus is a Latin translation of the Greek word "Parousia," the coming or the entrance of the Lord. In Latin, Adventus (from which we get Advent) means the arrival or beginning of something new.
The liturgical calendar observes Advent during the four weeks leading up to Christmas. During this time, believers pause to reflect and remember the birth of Jesus during the first two weeks of Advent and anticipate His second coming during the latter two weeks.
Advent Is A Gentle Reminder Of The Coming Messiah
The hustle, bustle, and commercialization of the holidays often distract us from the sacredness of this season. Anticipation becomes drowned out by consumerism, and before you know it, holiday parties, gift exchanges, and the pomp and circumstance of decor and festivities overwhelm us. For some, the holidays can impose such a mental and emotional demand that they no longer look forward to a time of celebration. Advent is our gentle reminder that all of those things pale in comparison to the core meaning of this season, which is a time of hopeful anticipation of the arrival of Jesus (God incarnate) and the coming Messiah. As we sit in the duality of remembrance and expectation, we are afforded an opportunity to rest in the weight of God's glory and the truth of His promises.
Take Time To Ponder And Reflect During Advent
As someone new to engaging in the Advent season, my initial attraction was that Advent encourages me to ponder and deeply reflect on my relationship with the Lord, and the world around me.
My relationship with the Father is re-centered, and my heart is reoriented to the magnitude of who was and is, and is to come. Amid all of the current darkness in our world, the contemplative and meditative nature of Advent ushers us into a mindful practice of finding peace amid chaos while anchoring our hope in the return of Christ when all things are restored on Earth as it is in heaven.
There are several traditional ways to celebrate Advent; wreaths made of evergreen symbolize everlasting life and are circular to remind us of God's never-ending love and the eternal life found only in Him. Families begin lighting a candle on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and light another each Sunday afterward.
Advent Equals Hope, Faith, Joy, And Peace
Although traditions differ, traditionally, each candle represents hope, faith, joy, and peace. Others read Advent devotionals and prayers, and many churches offer Advent services and readings. Others dedicate each week to reflecting on love, peace, joy, and hope. I engage Advent by reading through the gospel of Luke.
Observance doesn't have to be confined to candles, calendars, wreaths, or devotionals. However, I think we would be remiss not to pause and reflect as often as possible during this season on what we're actually waiting for, the one who came to save and the one who will come again in glory—the blessed hope who is both Immanuel, God with us, and Messiah, our anointed deliverer.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
Begin Working With A Therapist in Marietta, GA
Please consider reaching out to a qualified therapist. Our team of caring therapists would be honored to offer support with in-person and online services from our Marietta, GA-based practice. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:
Other Services Offered at Remain Connected Counseling
Our team knows you may experience other issues in your life. This is why we are happy to offer a variety of services including teen therapy, anxiety treatment, and EMDR therapy. In addition, we also offer life transitions therapy and depression counseling, and more all under a Christian counseling lens. By using online therapy, these services are available to anyone in Georgia. Learn more about our team of dedicated therapists and contact us for more information.