Well, December is upon us and the clamour and chaos of Christmas preparations grows ever louder, however allow me to ask you to tarry a moment to consider the season that we currently find ourselves in – Advent.
To be honest, I’d imagine that most Christians have little idea what this period of ‘Advent’ is actually about, let alone those outside the church – I certainly didn’t until I started attending an Anglican church more regularly. For the uninitiated, Advent is a season in the church calendar that lasts from the fourth Sunday before Christmas until Christmas Eve. The name ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin word ‘adventus’ which means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’. As such, the season has a twin focus – firstly on the first coming of Jesus that we celebrate at Christmas and secondly thinking ahead to Jesus’ Second Coming, which didn’t happen last year, despite the best efforts of Harold Camping to predict it thus. If you’re looking for more detail about Advent, you can have a look here and here. However, I don’t so much want to focus on the details of how we mark Advent, but to offer a few thoughts on why we should perhaps give it a bit more attention.