"Behold, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple...” (Malachi 3:1)
For many Christians today, the idea of seasons of the Christian year is a new thing. But the church has used them for nearly 2000 years to remind us of spiritual realities that often get lost in our secular and pagan world. For example, many of you may already know that in the Christian calendar, the four weeks prior to Christmas Day are considered a season separate from Christmas.
Known as “Advent” (from the Latin adventus, which means “coming”) these four weeks celebrate and remind us of aspects of faith which are related to but definitely distinct from Christmas. Advent is one way we can remember the true “reason for the season” by being pointed to and prepared for the various “comings” of Jesus in and through time:
(1) In The Past ...as a babe in Bethlehem. We listen to Old Testament prophets who promised a coming Messiah
(2) In the Present ...as the one who comes and meets us in our hearts and lives today
(3) In the Future ...as the one who will come again to make all things new and to establish His kingdom upon the earth once and for all.
During this season, we use the colors blue (representing hope) and purple (representing royalty) to remind us of the hope that Christ brings as our reigning King, and light an Advent wreath to remind us that we wait for the coming of Jesus, the “Light of the world.”
This year at East Cobb UMC, our celebration of Advent can help us understand the true meaning of Christmas, and prepare our hearts for the Christ-child. It will be a great time to invite friends and neighbors to church, as well as a good time to get back to church yourself! So don’t miss out on how God wants to bless you as we begin celebrating Advent on December 1st! I’ll see you then! Remember, God loves you and I do, too!