Advent - Preparing for Christmas

2014.12.02 08:08

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Advent - Preparing for Christmas


This is a season to prepare for Christmas, while it is the biggest shopping season of the year.  It is so easy to get wrapped around buying and giving gifts, we forget the real reason for Christmas.  There is no better way to prepare during "Advent" than to focus on the Word of God and prepare our hearts in reflection, repentance, and rejoicing.  Key is to know that this is the season for both looking back to Jesus’ first coming and looking forward to His second coming in glory.


Here's an excerpt from Breakpoint Commentary:


The weeks leading up to Christmas day are properly called Advent in Western Christianity, from the Latin word "adventus", meaning “coming.”

 

Adventus was the Latin translation of the Greek word "parousia", which the New Testament most often used to refer to Jesus’ second coming. In antiquity, parousia was usually associated with the arrival of royalty: the leaders of a city went outside the city gates to meet the Emperor and escort him back into the city.

 

Thus, for the Christian, Advent is about preparing to greet our King. And it is a time for both looking back to Jesus’ first coming and looking forward to His second coming in glory.

 

Like Lent, Advent is a penitential season, a time for reflection and repentance. If we’re honest with ourselves, what Titus 2 calls “our blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,”—should provoke both joy and a bit of dread. It’s a time for asking ourselves whether we truly are “a people that are [Christ’s] very own, eager to do what is good.”

 

The other emotion associated with Advent is yearning. Specifically, yearning for God to fulfill His promises to His people and to set right what has gone terribly wrong.

 

This yearning permeates perhaps the greatest of all Advent hymns, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” It’s a paraphrase of parts of the liturgy dating back to at least the Middle Ages. Each verse invokes biblical titles for Christ—Emmanuel, Root of Jesse, Day Spring, etc.—and then rehearses why His people yearn for His presence among them.

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