O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Sunday, December 1st (2013), marks the first Sunday of Advent on the church calendar. Advent begins roughly four weeks prior to Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. History dates the practice of Advent as far back as the 6th century and it has been observed by Christians of various backgrounds since that time. The word Advent is derived from the Latin word adventus which means “coming” or “arrival.” Traditionally, Advent is a time for remembering the expectant waiting of God’s people for a Messiah, which was ultimately fulfilled in Jesus. It’s also a time for us to remember our expectant waiting of Jesus’ triumphal return. At Life Community, although we don’t strictly follow the church calendar and traditional liturgy (that is the form/arrangement of our worship services), we believe that observing this period of time can be profitable to us individually and as a community. How so?
1. Remembering God’s promise of a Messiah to His people and the fulfillment of that promise in Jesus reminds us that God is good on His word. He can be trusted to do what He said he would do. This has great implications in our daily lives, as we learn to trust God with everything we have as well as look to the promise of Jesus’ return. We can trust that God will fulfill His promises. “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” –Numbers 23:19
2. Remembering and meditating on the truth that Jesus gave up his heavenly glory to come and dwell among men causes us to love and worship Him more fully. We remember that Jesus came, was born in a manger, and lived among us. The one who created everything and holds it all together was born as a baby, and was destined for the cross as a means of rescuing and redeeming his creation. Meditating on these truths should fill us with a deeper love and adoration for Jesus!
Resources for 2013:
- Desiring God: Good News of Great Joy – Daily Readings for Advent
- The Village Church: Advent Guide (weekly readings/activities for individuals & families)
- Verge Network: Advent Guide (daily readings/activities for kids and parents)