What is Advent? Advent comes from the Latin word adventis meaning arrival or coming. The Jewish people looked with great anticipation to the coming of the promised Messiah, Yeshua, who would deliver them from their oppression. Though the prophets foretold of the arrival of Messiah, the people had little understanding that deliverance would not come from human domination, but from the bondage of sin. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Christ’s first coming marked the beginning of a new era, so transformative and extraordinary, that He would change even how we measure time—before Christ (B.C.) or after Christ (A.C.).
Advent also marks the beginning of the Christian calendar. The Christian calendar is organized around two major centers of Sacred Time: Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany; and Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, concluding at Pentecost. The rest of the year following Pentecost is known as Ordinary Time, from the word “ordinal,” which simply means counted time (First Sunday after Pentecost, etc.). Ordinary Time is used to focus on various aspects of the Faith, especially the mission of the church in the world. Some church traditions break up ordinary time into a Pentecost Season, (Pentecost until the next to last Sunday of August) and Kingdomtide (last Sunday of August until the beginning of Advent).
Why do we participate in Advent? As Christians, we participate in Advent to celebrate not only Christ’s first arrival to save a sinful world but also in anticipation of His Second Coming. Christ’s Second Advent will mark the end of time as we know it today and the beginning of our eternal state, where we will live forever in the presence of the Lord. Hallelujah!
Finally, we participate in Advent, as one writer put it, “to reset Jesus Christ as the center of our lives and at the center of our church.”
This Advent devotional has been created to do just that—to refocus our efforts on building “one kingdom” (God’s kingdom) and to motivate us to zealously seek Jesus and to be counted as one of His faithful believers who “love his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). Advent is truly a “season of devotion”.