Monday, November 30, 2009

What is 'Advent'? Because people keep askin' me...

The term "Advent" comes from Latin word ad-venio meaning "arrival."  For well over 1,000 years, the Christian Church worldwide has designated the four weeks prior to Christmas as a time to prepare for Christ's coming into the world.  We seek to prepare ourselves as a community, as individuals and, ultimately, as those who anxiously await Christ's Second Advent (arrival/coming).

It is no coincidence that Advent falls during the darkest time of the year:  Until December 23, our hemisphere of the earth continues to tilt further and further away from the sun, resulting in shorter days and longer periods of darkness.  During this time, we frequently find ourselves longing for more physical light and warmer temperatures amidst the longer and colder evenings.  Consider the days when electricity and heating beyond fireplaces were unavailable—the dark and long days certainly stoke the desire for spring, light, and life.

The early Christian church did not know the exact date of Jesus' birth, but they believed that Christ was indeed the Light of the World (John. 9:1-41).  It made sense to these early Christians to celebrate the birth of the Messiah during a time of the year when everyone was most aware of the lack of light in the world.  

During this Advent season, we acknowledge the "lack of light" in our lives, the sorrow, hurt, grief, and even despair.  We cry out for God's presence, His healing and transforming touch.  We seek to prepare our hearts to be receptive to Christ, our Savior, and we eagerly await the celebration of His birth at Christmas.

We invite you to join us during this 2009 Advent season in preparing room in our hearts, minds, homes and gatherings for our Savior, Christ the Lord.
George R. Haraksin II
NewSong Church
November 2009