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Advent 2020 Devotional – Introduction to the Season

Advent begins this coming Sunday, November 29! The following is taken from the Introduction to our 2020 Advent devotional, “Lighten The Darkness”. You can order a complimentary copy or copies HERE.   You can also follow it online at beginning November 29.

We look forward to sharing this season with you!

The Season of Advent

For the young and for the old there is something about this time of year that excites joy and lightness! The wonder of these days sweeps over us as moments of awe mingle with daily routine. As we get out the Christmas decorations and put up the lights, we start to feel God’s Spirit moving us.

Each year, even in our secular post-Christian culture, there are more and more people observing Advent. Something about celebrating each day of Advent slows down the holiday rush, and helps us focus on the things that really matter.

Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day and culminates on Christmas Eve. It gifts us with four weeks for reflecting, praying, and paying attention to God’s Light shining in the world. The first Sunday of Advent has long served as a “new year’s day” for Christians. For centuries Advent has been understood as a time for new beginnings, fresh starts, and revived experiences of life in Christ Jesus.

Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning, “arrival” or “coming”. It is a word that early Christians adapted from their culture; adventus meant the “coming” of news of victory, or the “coming” of the emperor’s visit. Adventus was a time for joy as people gathered at city gates to celebrate the emperor as soter (savior) and bringer of pax (peace). Early followers of Jesus then appropriated the word adventus to celebrate the coming of Jesus into the world both as true Savior and bringer of peace.

It is significant that the word adventus was the Latin translation of the Greek parousia, a word early Christians used to describe Jesus’ Second Coming. From the early days of Christianity the celebration of Advent has had a double focus: looking back to Jesus’ first coming and looking forward to His coming again. This is a time both for joyful remembering and for looking ahead to the coming of God’s new world.

Advent comes this year, as it has so often, at a time of fearful disease, political discord, economic uncertainty, and grave concern for the future. We live at a time not unlike that when God’s Light first shined into a dark world. But through the centuries God’s people have experienced peace and purpose in looking back, and in looking ahead to the Savior’s coming for us. He is God’s true Light shining in our darkness. And always we pray: “Lord God, lighten the darkness.”

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