December 1, 2010

What is Advent?

Our lives are shaped by the seasons. When the sun rises and the temperature of the air determines when we wake up, what we wear and what we eat. Spring brings new life, Summers are fun times of sunshine and swimming, Fall brings school and sports, Winters for gathering together for warmth and reflection. As individuals, we go through seasons of jobs, schools or relationships. It is impossible to separate oneself from one’s season.

Over the centuries, Christians have learned to take advantage of this natural rhythm of life by developing the Liturgical calendar. The four weeks prior to Christmas are spent imagining what it must have felt like to be a Jew, waiting for the Messiah to come. The lectionary contains readings from the Psalms, prophets, gospels and Revelation. By identifying with what it felt like to wait on the first coming of Christ, we deepen our desire for his return.

For Vox, Advent is an opportunity to slow down. Culture pushes us to focus on creating the perfect event, shopping for the perfect present and doing all the things you’re supposed to do at the holidays. Advent is a voice that says, “Slow down. Jesus will come in his time.”

[Written by Chris Morton] [Photo by geógrafo @ Flickr]

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