The Christmas season is underway. Starbucks now has red cups and the lamp posts in Muncie have lit stars hanging from them; we even had our first snowfall this past weekend. The sanctuary at First Baptist is now decorated for Christmas as we move into the first Sunday of Advent.
This is truly a grand season.
However, our cultural understanding of the Christmas season is a little different from the ancient season of Advent. On the church calendar, Advent marks the beginning of the year. We move from here into Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and Easter. Yet in our world today, the holiday season marks the end of the year. We are winding down 2015. After January 1, we begin a new year and get back to the daily routines of normal life. It is quite different from the anticipation of Advent that celebrates the coming of Jesus. When Advent is over, we don’t return to routine. Advent propels us into Christmas, the coming of Jesus. After Christmas, we move toward Easter by exploring the life of Jesus (Epiphany and Lent). Advent and Easter are markers. Advent begins the anticipation of God doing something great. Easter is the culmination of what God began at Advent.
To put it simply, Advent is about anticipation. This year, we will be exploring Scriptures about the coming of Jesus (both his first and second coming). Certainly, there is anticipation in the Christmas season. Children are especially expectant during this time of year. They are making lists and counting the days until Christmas. In the same way, we need to make spiritual preparations for the coming of Jesus.
Join us on Sunday as we explore Luke 21:25-36. Advent is a wonderful season of eager anticipation. Let’s think about this together as we study God’s Word.