The question of the hour, especially from those who don't participate in traditional church liturgy, is "Why should we celebrate Advent?"
I didn't grow up in a church going family, so up until last year "advent" was just a sweet part of Christmas that allowed me to get a chocolate every day.
As I got older and Jesus intersected into my life I began to wonder what Advent was all about. Was it just some staunchy old-world Catholic thing that had lost its relevance or was there more to the story?
So the Internets came to the rescue! I scoured websites and blogs searching for the truth behind Advent. Was it something I missed in the Bible? Was it simply tradition? Was it worthwhile or a waste of time?
And here's what I've come to know- It's awesome.
Advent (comes from a Latin word meaning coming) is a tradition that started somewhere in the third and fourth centuries as a fast before the Feast of Epiphany where all those who has chosen to follow Jesus were baptized. It's unclear exactly how it evolved into what most liturgical churches (Catholic, Lutheran etc.) celebrate today, but from the beginning it has always been about expecting the coming of Jesus.
Here's the top 10 reasons why Advent is awesome:
- It allows us to refocus on Jesus for a whole month before Christmas
- You get to celebrate Jesus' birth for a month instead of just a day.
- You intentionally look toward Jesus' return (the second Advent)
- Your eternal perspective grows (see #2)
- We're reminded that Christmas is not about gifts, snowmen, hot cocoa or even family but Jesus
- We participate in patience (a willingness to endure suffering) with God.
- You get to see how Jesus is interwoven through out God's whole story (not just the NT)
- You are reminded that Jesus is the light of the world (if you use candles)
- You get to anticipate and be excited about the promises God has yet to fulfill
- God is glorified in your worship! ( The most important reason!)
So friends, it's not too late to start an Advent tradition of your own. In fact many Advent devotionals start on December 1 (TOMORROW!) I am using a number of great resources as I seek Jesus and discover what Advent is really all about. One of them is from the lovely Ann Voskamp - A Free Advent Jesse Tree Book. Another is from John Piper's blog Desiring God. I'm also going through a devotional series from YouVersion because it's handy and on my phone. You can do it alongside me and find it here.
If you want to catch the whole series Discovering Advent make sure you subscribe on the sidebar. Thank you sweet friends for journeying through Christmas season with me!
Linking up with these amazing women:We are THAT family, Women Living Well, A Holy Experience, Internet Cafe Devotions, Good Morning Girls