Advent: Moving Toward Christ

Advent: Moving Toward Christ
Dan Culbertson

As we launch into December, take a few minutes to consider Advent.

December is full! Full of parties, concerts, shopping, baking, and Christmas songs. The time seems to fly by in a happy but chaotic whirlwind. Before we know it, Christmas has arrived with presents, family meals, and perhaps even some sadness as we miss the people we used to spend Christmas with.

The rhythms of Advent give us a chance to move toward the coming of Christ in a way that allows us to pay careful attention. Every week, we light a candle, read Bible passages, sing a song, and say a prayer.

The candles remind us that Christ is the light who has come into the world. As we light one new candle each week, the light grows, and the unlit candles remind us how long we must wait until Christmas.

The Bible passages connect with the focus of each week. Our tradition follows the readings about the Patriarchs/Matriarchs, the Prophets, John the Baptist, and Mary. All these people were waiting for the coming of The Rescuer with patience, actively preparing the way for the Lord.

Our songs engage our hearts with the coming celebration of the season and invite us to lay aside our own favorite music groups for a bit and sing all together. They prime our hearts for the shared joy of Christmas.

The prayers bring us into the stories of waiting and hoping. We believe that God will do the impossible with Sarah and Abraham, we pray alongside the prophets for the branch of Jesse to come, we prepare the way of the Lord with John, and we magnify the Lord with Mary. In the darkness of the world around us, and in the darkness of our own hearts, we ask the Lord to come.

Advent puts all the events, travel, and family traditions into a context more deeply meaningful than happy busyness. Following these rhythms and patterns that believers before us have established helps us to enter into the story of the coming of The Rescuer as we look forward to the day when he comes back again to make everything right.

 

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