I’m working on Advent, the Liturgical season that just began Sunday, November 30. Advent is the beginning of the new year on the Liturgical calendar, so, let me say… happy new year. Let me also say that Advent is a big deal, and here’s why:
Basically, we let this idea soak into our lives as we Worship in these weeks leading up to Christmas Day. Advent isn’t a time of super high-energy celebration per se, but rather one of waiting as we realize our lostness without a Savior and our darkness without the Light. It’s no funeral, but it is designed to be a little more introspective, thoughtful and eye-opening. THEN Christmas Day celebrates – a party like no other – because we’ve recognized our need for a Savior who has come (and will come again). Unless you have a sense of brokenness and remorse, redemption doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.
Advent is like taking the long way home. You know where you’re headed (Christmas) but you want to really make sure you soak up the surroundings that lead up to it. It is an intentional season that helps us remember as we wait for the coming one. To do this, we need time and we need some kind of plan or a map, something that helps guide us in this pilgrimage. If you’re like me and grew up Advent-less, then it’s especially helpful. In my experience, Advent brings a new meaning to Christmas, as if suddenly seeing in 3D. The Lord is using it in me. I pray that He uses it in our congregation.