November 27, 2018
By Kendall Lord
Though the season of Advent is not even mentioned, much less mandated, in Scripture, many Christian churches include a celebration of Advent in their seasonal calendar. Why?
The word “advent” derives from the Latin adventus, meaning “coming” or “visit.” It was also used specifically to describe the arrival of an important person. The celebration of Advent appears in records as far back as the fifth century.
Advent typically begins four Sundays before Christmas, and it ends on Christmas Eve. For a long time, Advent was known as a period of fasting in preparation for the celebration of the Nativity, or birth of Christ—by far the most important person ever to arrive on earth!
Actually, three arrivals can be celebrated during this season: (1) the historic earthly arrival of the baby Jesus, our Savior; (2) the arrival of Jesus in our hearts when we recognize that we are sinners, repent, and ask Him to come in; and (3) that day in the future when Jesus will return, not as a baby but as the Conquering King, to set all things right.
Just as there is not a scriptural requirement that we celebrate Advent, there are no requirements concerning how we celebrate. Here at Cherrydale, we do this somewhat differently every year. This year, we will have our display of four purple candles on a small table up front—one candle for each of the weeks in Advent—and a large white Christ candle in the center. The purple candles will be lit in succession as we move through Advent, with the Christ candle being lit on Christmas Eve.
So, during Advent, we remember, celebrate, and anticipate the coming of Christ. Please make it a priority to join us each Sunday in Advent so that together we will celebrate the arrival of the One whose coming changed everything forever.
Editor’s note: This year, you have the opportunity to receive a short Advent devotional email each day. If you are already receiving Pastor Lord’s Worship Focus, the Advent Devotional will replace it for the duration of Advent. Others may sign up for the Advent Devotional here.