Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Advent comes from the Latin word "adventus" which means "coming." means or "to wait."
Most of us think that the new year starts on January 1st, yet the church starts its new year on the 1st Sunday of Advent, this Sunday, so we celebrate the beginning of a new year. We move from listening to the stories in the Gospel of Mark to the Stories of the Gospel of Luke.
Advents starts every year on the 4th Sunday before Christmas.
Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parusia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different angles. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.
Does anybody remember the color of the hangings in the church these past 6 months? They have been green. What color do we get to use in Advent? BLUE! Yipee! So pretty, reminds us of hope and joy, the same type of hope and joy that Jesus' mother Mary had as she waited for Jesus to come. Some people call it Mary's blue. Whatever you call it is very elegant.
Now, who remembers what color we used to use in Advent? Purple, that's right that's because we used to treat Advent as a season of penitence, asking forgiveness, but we changed the meaning of the season to one of hopeful preparation.
So what are we preparing for or "Waiting" for?
What else do we wait for, how do we prepare for this? What special things might we do when we wait and prepare for friends, family, grandparents to come. We prepare the house...we clean, we straighten, we make beds, we check our attitudes, etc.
In recent times some of the most common observances of Advent is the keeping of an Advent calendar or Advent candle, with one door being opened in the calendar, or one section of the candle being burned, on each day in December leading up to Christmas Eve. The keeping of an advent wreath is also a common practice, with four or five candles extending from the wreath. The colors associated with the candles are variously interpreted.
This past Wednesday we celebrated Thanksgiving with our All Saints Family and our extended family, our guests from Family promise present and past. We hope this becomes a yearly tradition as we get ready to PREPARE ourselves for the amazing gift of Jesus on Christmas Day, one that will not arrive until we have longed through Advent.
We wish you all a Happy Advent as we prepare ourselves, our community, and the world for the coming of Jesus at Christmas.
See ya Sunday. It's Advent!
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