I had decided that I was not going to write about Advent this year. But, the monthly synchroblog decided to make their topic “Journey through Advent.” I thought about this for a while, considered a few conversations that I’ve had with some friends, and decided to change my mind and write about Advent after all.
For those who may not be aware (and I wasn’t for a long time), “Advent” is a season observed by many Western churches during the month of December, and marked by the four Sundays of December. The themes of Advent tend to be waiting, anticipation, and hope surrounding the first and second incarnations of Jesus Christ.
Thus, during Advent, and especially on the four Sundays of Advent, the church focuses on the first coming of Christ in anticipation of the second coming of Christ. To be honest, Advent (as a season of the church calendar) has not been a big part of my life in Christ. I can remember one Christmas when our family lit a candle and read from a slip of paper, but I don’t remember which candle we lit or what we read.
Recently, as I mentioned previously, I was talking with some friends about Advent (or the Christmas season for those of us who are less liturgical). As important as remembering the birth of Christ is, and as important as looking forward to the second coming of Christ is, if we stop there we’re missing a powerful aspect of the “Advent” of Jesus Christ.
The past (Jesus came) and future/eschatological (Jesus is coming / heaven) aspects of Advent are very important. But, we are living in the present. And, the present aspect of the Advent is often missing from our celebrations and remembrances and meditations. Jesus is here!
It is the present aspect of the Advent (Jesus is here!) that kept the original 120 disciples going, and then kept the 3000+ going, and then kept Paul going. While they celebrated the past physical life of Christ and they looked forward to the future coming of Christ, it was the very present presence of Christ that gave them power and courage and hope in the day.
Today, in my “Journey through Advent,” I hope to live in the present reality of the coming of Christ without forgetting either the past or the future realities. It is the present Advent that focuses me on God and others. It is the present coming of Christ that reminds me to make disciples, to love others, to encourage my brothers and sisters, to give food and drink and clothing to the needy, to serve and help and care.
In fact, while there is great benefit to remembering that Christ came and looking forward to his future coming, my relationship with God as his child is confirmed by the presence of Christ (Romans 8:16). As we walk through Advent this season, let’s remember the past Advent and look forward to the future Advent, but don’t live in those alone.
Let’s never forget that Jesus Christ is here. He has promised to never leave us. He has promised to always be with us. Christ in us is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). This is the Advent to live for and walk in today.
Here is a list of other bloggers taking the “Journey through Advent“:
- John C. Oâ€™Keefe – The Season of Adventure
- George at The Love Revolution – The Weak Ghosts of Advent
- Peter at Emerging Christian – Expanding Our Experience of the Advent Journey
- Beth at Beth Stedman.com – Experiencing Advent With A Toddler
- Alan at The Assembling Of The Church – Walking Through Advent Today
- Steve at Emergent Kiwi – Am I Traveling Well?
- Wendy at View From The Bridge – Yearning For a Lived Theology
- Annie at Marginal Theology – Limping Along
- Christen at Greener Grass – Advent – Expecting and Un-Expecting
- Jeff at My Adventures – Journeys and Destinations
- kathy at carnival in my head – making room for the unexpected
- Sonja at Calacirian – Road To Nowhere
- Steve at Khanya – Advent Synchroblog
- Beth at The Virtual Teahouse – Clear-Eyed Gaze of a Stranger
- Phil at Square No More – O Antiphon #1 – This is the first of nine antiphones. Please check Philâ€™s blog Square No More regularly for additional updates with the additional 8 antiphones.
- Peggy at Abisomeone – Wandering With The Waiting Abbess
- Cathryn at Love Fiercely – An Advent Prayer
- HeySonnie at A Piece of My Mind – Christmas WILL Happen
- Liz at Grace Rules – Advent – A Journey of Awakening