Friday, November 26, 2021
Merriam-Webster Definition of Advent
Ad·vent | \ ˈad-ˌvent , chiefly British -vənt \
1 : the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting.
I have always celebrated Christmas as both the birth of Jesus and the arriving of Santa. I was well into my adult years before I truly understood Advent and it’s benefits. I truly hope you will consider joining me on my exploration of the season this year. I typically choose a book or booklet to read in anticipation of the birth of Jesus. This year I have chosen a book by an unfamiliar author by the name of Asheritah Ciuciu. The title of her devotional caught my attention right off. “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus.” I love learning new things about my Lord and Savior, and this book seemed perfect. I began attending church at a very young age and have countless memories of attending Sunday school long before I began elementary school. I was privileged to attend summer vacation Bible school, along with several of my cousins and local friends. Right after I began seventh grade I started attending a Christian school K-12 and after graduating from high school I chose to attend a Christian College. My journey has been more of a winding road instead of a more straightforward road; is that not true for most of us? No matter where life has taken me, I always return to my center, my foundation of faith. God is someone I guess I’ve always known who He was, the Creator of all things, the beginning and the end but mostly at this time of year, the baby Jesus laying in a manger is a beautiful and deeply rooted memory.
So, Why Celebrate Advent?
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section. I celebrate Advent for two reasons; first it’s about bringing the birth of Jesus into the here and now. Preparing a way for Jesus. Just as Mary and Joseph prepared themselves to be Jesus’ earthly parents. The second reason is to grow closer to God, to prepare my heart for that which I was created to do. The past year and a half has had defining consequences from the pandemic. We have had to face challenges and changes that many of us were not prepared for and did not want. Relationships have been tested, life expectations changed, and it’s not over yet. The one constant has been God, He has not changed and He has never left us alone. As I prepare for Advent I am going to be intentional with my time, actions and words. I am going to be more diligent and structured in my living. I am going to “Unwrap the Names of Jesus,” as I wrap myself in His Word. Join me starting Sunday, November 28th, 2021 for the First Sunday of Advent.
The lighting of the Advent candles starts on the first Sunday of Advent and with each new week another candle is lit. “*Advent means “coming” from the Latin word adventus, and remarks a season of expectantly preparing to celebrate the first coming of Jesus.*”. We are now keenly awaiting His second coming when He will establish His kingdom, as we now celebrate Jesus’ presence with us through the Holy Spirit.
Some Bible verses to ponder as you and I prepare for Advent.
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“Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.”
— 1 Peter 1:13 — (NRSVA)
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.”
— Galatians 4:4-5 — (NRSVA)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.”
— John 1:1-4 — (NRSVA)
“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
— Isaiah 9:6 — (NRSVA)
~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
* Denotes quote from the Author page 10.