I am once again amazed that today marks the beginning of December and for me the start of my Advent,how time flies.
Last month consisted of list writing,Christmas shopping,card buying and writing and organising my Christmas, I have one gift left to buy so I have done really well,the reason I still have one gift to get is that I was waiting for my eldest son to confirm his main gift,he only did it when I said if he didn’t give me any ideas I would presume he wanted surprises,it did the trick.
Advent begins by setting up my advent,it is a collection of numbered boxes in which I put a little treat or a Christmas themed to do for the Grandchildren,today also marks the appearance of Jingles our Elf,she brings a letter for the Grandchildren from Santa and over the coming month may play tricks on them as well as treats etc,they love seeing Jingles. Jingles knows when the Grandchildren are here and always has a little surprise for them.
I am a non practising Christian,I do not attend church on a regular basis,here is the Christian meaning of advent.
What Is Advent?
For many Christians unfamiliar with the liturgical year, there may be some confusion surrounding the meaning of the Advent season. Some people may know that the Advent season focuses on expectation and think that it serves as an anticipation of Christ’s birth in the season leading up to Christmas. This is part of the story, but there’s more to Advent.
The History of Advent
The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1), his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (John 1:29), and his first miracle at Cana (John 2:1). During this season of preparation, Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration; originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas.
By the 6th century, however, Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the Middle Ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas.
Today, the Advent season lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas. At that time, the new Christian year begins with the twelve-day celebration of Christmastide, which lasts from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6. (Advent begins on the Sunday that falls between November 27th and December 3rd each year.)
Advent symbolizes the present situation of the church in these “last days” (Acts 2:17, Hebrews 1:2), as God’s people wait for the return of Christ in glory to consummate his eternal kingdom. The church is in a similar situation to Israel at the end of the Old Testament: in exile, waiting and hoping in prayerful expectation for the coming of the Messiah. Israel looked back to God’s past gracious actions on their behalf in leading them out of Egypt in the Exodus, and on this basis they called for God once again to act for them. In the same way, the church, during Advent, looks back upon Christ’s coming in celebration while at the same time looking forward in eager anticipation to the coming of Christ’s kingdom when he returns for his people.
I have filled my December pages in my diary with things that I have to do and places to go. I have a few birthday’s in December and this weekend I will be getting cards and gifts for those. I have planned to go to a church carol service with my friend,a cinema visit to see Christmas with the Cooper’s and a day of bakes and makes for family and friend’s and am having my nails done too,for Christmas and the prom party we will be going to in December.I don’t put my tree up until the second Sunday in December,I have lots of ornaments but can always find room for more. I will miss having my Mum and Dad here on Christmas day as we have for the past few years,they are going away,they need the break and they enjoy all of the activities they have in the hotel in Weymouth. My Dad does everything in the house as my Mum’s ill health prevents her from doing much so it will be a nice break from the cooking and housework for them,they will be back to see in the new year.
How are your plans coming along ?