What is Advent?
written by Rev. Carol Cooper
The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming. (www.umc.org)
“My mother, my daughter, Life-giving Eve,
Do not be ashamed, do not grieve,
The former things have passed away,
Our God has brought us to a New Day.
See, I am with Child.
Through whom all will be reconciled.
O Eve My sister, my friend,
We will rejoice together
Life without end.”
Text by the Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey, 2004
This icon hangs in my office…year-round. A few years ago I saw it and told Keith and Will I would really like to have it. It came with the poem printed next to it and I often spend time thinking about it. As we journey through Advent together, I pray you are able to focus on the coming of the Christ-Child while still remembering we are in a perpetual season of Advent as we await the coming of Christ—again.
In The Jesus Storybook Bible we read about how God created the world and all that is in it…and how God created Adam and Eve. And at the end of the first story on creation, we are given these words of hope: “But all the stars and the mountains and oceans and galaxies and everything were nothing compared to how much God loved his children. He would move heaven and earth to be near them. Always. Whatever happened, whatever it cost him, he would always love them.”
Here, we get a picture: we’ve read the story…we know Jesus comes because of sin created through Adam and Eve. Notice the serpent around Eve’s ankle being crushed by the one carrying the Christ-child. Jesus came to destroy sin. Jesus continues to destroy sin and will always love us. As we live in Advent…this season of Advent and this life of Advent, may we all experience the coming of the Christ-Child with fresh minds and hearts. May we find grace, just as Eve found grace. May we find strength, just as Mary found strength to carry the Christ-Child. May we find hope…for in Jesus our hope is found.