Sunday, November 28, is the first Sunday of Advent. We, in the churches of Christ, normally do not follow the liturgical calendar as do many religious groups – except, perhaps, as a general guide to lesson planning. However, it is helpful for us to learn what others do and why they do it to enrich our own Christian walk.
- *Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.
- Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.
- Advent is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday…. Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, which is the Sunday between November 27 and December 3 inclusive. Christians of these denominations observe the season through practices such as keeping an Advent calendar, lighting an Advent wreath, praying an Advent daily devotional, among other ways of preparing for Christmastide, such as setting up Christmas decorations
Beginning Sunday, I will preach a series of three sermons on the coming of Jesus entitled, The Word Became Flesh. I will discuss Israel’s longing for the Messiah. Next week I will speak about the birth of Jesus as the answer to that longing. Finally, in two weeks, I will talk about the second coming of Jesus as the culmination of Israel’s hopes.
The Old Testament ends with its story unfinished. God had promised release from exile, to return to his temple, to destroy evil, and to set up a kingdom that would never be destroyed, but none of that had happened. Well, they had physically returned from Babylon, but they were still a subjugated people. Evil, pagan influences controlled the world. God’s kingdom was a longed for reality that had not yet materialized. Israel longed for the promised Messiah, who would set all things right.
- Daniel 7:13-14 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
I’ll say more in my lesson.
Have a Great Week! Joey