The Season of Advent

This Sunday begins a new church calendar. The church calendar is different from the civil calendar — some of the holidays (or holy days) are in common, such as Christmas and Easter, but most of the other days of the church year are not part of the civil calendar. The church year begins with Advent and ends with Christ the King Sunday. There are several major blocks of time — Dr. Keith Drury discusses this markin of time in his book The Wonder of Worship. They are:

  • Advent
  • Christmas
  • Epiphany
  • Lent
  • Easter
  • Pentecost

This coming Sunday we being again with Advent. What does Advent mean?

The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. That is a process in which we now participate, and the consummation of which we anticipate. Scripture reading for Advent will reflect this emphasis on the Second Advent, including themes of accountability for faithfulness at His coming, judgment on sin, and the hope of eternal life.

Dr. Dennis Bratcher (a Church of the Nazarene professor) has a great website at CRI Voice, with various worship resources, including what I’ve posted above. I hope to do a bit more with the church year, this time around, explaining the whys of each part of the church calendar.

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