The Advent season begins this Sunday. This is the season we actively anticipate the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
But not only that…
For most of my life, I have thought of the Advent season as the culmination of the year rather than the beginning. I grew up in a church that did not directly follow the liturgical calendar and so, I have never fully appreciated the flow of the church year.
In “Journey into the Heart of God: Living the Liturgical Year” by Philip H. Pfatteicher, he describes the purpose of Advent:
The purpose of Advent is to rouse once again in the people of the Church the anticipation of the End and the great Day of the Lord, and to bid them be prepared for it.
Since at least the time of Bernard Clairvaux (d. 1153), Christians have spoken of the three comings of Christ: in the flesh in Bethlehem, in our hearts daily, and in glory at the end of time… The waiting of Advent is a real waiting, an authentic expectancy of an event that has not yet taken place, an event that still lies out there ahead of us… We wait, we hope, we look. And in that attitude and perspective one finds the whole liturgical year’s forward drive and direction.
An authentic expectancy… this is what Advent is for. At once, we reminisce, we capture the present and look forward in anticipation.
The unity of expectation.
As believers, we have the assurance of God’s promises through the ages. To commemorate this Advent season, each week I will look at the unity of expectation.
For now, we allow the momentum of the season to drive us forward.