The tradition of “Advent” is not what you may think
The noun “advent” means “arrival that has been awaited.” It is used for the introduction of something important. Advent means “coming” in Latin. Many Christians world-wide (mostly Catholics and Anglicans), celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, over the 4 Sundays leading up to Christmas Day. Hope, love, joy and peace are celebrated. Traditionally each week a coloured candle is lit. For “hope” it is purple.
Baptists don’t normally follow this man-made liturgical tradition. Here’s why. “Advent” is not found in the Bible; it began in the 4th C in Spain and Gaul, and had nothing to do with celebrating the birth of Christ or His Second Coming. New Christians had to “prepare” for their baptism during the January feast of “Epiphany,” through penance, prayer and fasting. There was little connection between Advent and Christmas.
By the 6th C Roman Catholics associated Advent to the 2nd coming of Christ, not His first coming, as many people believe. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that Advent became linked to Christmas. So “Advent” is a man-made construct.
That said, hope, love, joy and peace are great things to celebrate during this Christmas season. They reveal the power of the Holy Spirit in us. During the month of December, it is helpful for us to focus on the birth of Christ and give thanks that God the Son (John 10:30, 38) chose to become one of us. What humility. What great “Love”, when “Hope” came down, “Peace” was offered, and “Joy” could be experienced despite the troubled circumstances of humanity.
The “Hope” of glory is Christ in you (Col 1:27) through His Spirit. Without Christ’s incarnation this would not be possible. Christ’s birth offered life.
So let’s give thanks today for the hope we have as Christians living in Christ Jesus. Every praise be to our God.