|Posted by bethlehemlutheran on November 25, 2011 at 4:25 PM|
Happy New Year!
No, I’m not jumping the gun. The new church year begins this Sunday, November 27, with the season of Advent. So, happy New Year!
The word “advent” comes from the Latin and means “arrival.” The season has several purposes. As the first season of the church year, it marks the beginning of our annual retelling of the story of salvation which we do by recounting the life of Jesus (Advent through Ascension) and the ministry of Jesus (the season of Pentecost).
In the past, Advent was considered one of the penitential seasons, like Lent, and gave Christians time to prepare their hearts (as well as their homes) for the celebration of Christmas. Although the season is still a meditative season for many church members, it has lost some of its somber tone.
During this time, we think about and prepare for three different arrivals of Jesus: in the past (when he was born into our world in Bethlehem), in the present (when he is welcomed by us into our hearts), and in the future (the “second coming,” when a new reign of justice will be established).
More about Advent next week!