Advent is the season of the church year when we prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate Christmas.
Advent has 4 weeks, and technically continues past Christmas on December 25, when we celebrate Jesus birth, and to Epiphany (the visit of the wise men) on January 6.
The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word for “coming”. We reflect on Jesus’ coming at Christmas and also prepare for when Jesus comes again on the Last Day.
Why celebrate Advent?
The two words I think of most when I consider Advent are “come” and “prepare”.
During the season of Advent, we reflect on Jesus coming. It always seemed a bit strange to me to spend the month of December in church talking about Jesus coming, as if we were waiting for it, when we know he already came as a baby at Christmas. Yet this is the remembering part of Advent.
Each year, we reflect back on the life of Jesus and all that he did for us. Fully God, he was and is perfect in every way. Jesus became fully human in the form of a baby, then suffered and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins so that we can have eternal life with him in heaven someday. This is our most amazing gift.