Last month in my newsletter article, “Church Words Are Peculiar”, I asked “Can you help me put together a list of Trinity’s peculiar words? “ This was not meant as rhetorical and I did receive a list from one person – thank you Daniel. One of his words was “Advent”, a word that comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming”. It is a pretty unique and peculiar word.
The idea with Advent is for us to reflect and prepare for the coming of Christ. Not an easy task at this time of year. Much of our world is already preparing – Christmas music, Christmas wish lists, stores loading up with gift options, Christmas party planning, and the list goes on. So for the church to say stop, listen, pay attention to the arrival of something extremely important, wait for the arrive of Christ, the world might say, “Later, I’m too busy getting ready for Christmas.” However, the Christmas story was a once and only act – just like the resurrection was a once only event. The birth of Jesus happened only once.
Advent is a deeper call to wait in expectation, not just for the celebration of Christ’s birth, but a call to stop, listen, pay attention to the possibly of Christ’s return – the second coming. You know these words from the Apostle’s Creed:
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
Advent is the waiting in possibility for Christ’s return. It is not an “if he will return” question, but a “when he will return”. So we wait.
This year my family and I will prepare our “waiting decorations” as we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s first coming (Christmas) and His seconding coming. We will be looking at how to decorate our new home – the parsonage at Trinity.
Over the years we have acquired some unique decorations like the big spikey looking ball with a light inside that makes it glow. Its real name is a Moravian Star and ours was brought back from Germany by Trudi’s Mutti (Mom). This is a traditional Advent decoration in Germany. We love it, but the question will be “Where should it hang in our new home?” We will be looking for a window so that we can share that light with the world. That is our Advent light which contains the promise from the first coming – “God come down to us”, and the possibility of the return – “Christ will come again”. All of that symbolised in one light. How could we not share that with the world?
May you find peace in the waiting as you prepare for the celebration and promise of Christ’s coming.
Peace – Pastor Steve