On Sunday November 29, 2015, we are beginning a sermon series on the topic of “Advent” which will lead us into this greatly anticipated holiday season of Christmas. Advent is the season of the year leading up to Christmas and is observed with various traditions within a variety of Christian Churches. The word “advent” means “arrival” or “an appearing or coming into place.” Some churches often speak of Christ’s “first advent” and “second advent;” or His first and second coming to earth. The Advent celebration is both a commemoration of Christ’s first coming and an anticipation and the hope of His second coming. Just as ancient Israel longed for the Messiah to come, so Christ-followers today long for our Savior to come again. The Advent season begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve.
One of the most common Advent traditions involves the use of evergreen wreaths, branches, and trees. Evergreen has traditionally been used to represent the eternal life that Jesus brings. You may have noticed the evergreens throughout our building this morning. You will also notice an Advent wreath up front this morning, an evergreen circle with four colored candles and one white one in the middle. These candles will be lit one at a time during this Advent series. The first candle represents “hope” and this morning we will discuss the hope that came with the birth of Jesus and the hope we have in His promised second coming.
Commemorating Jesus’ birth and anticipating His return should be an everyday part of the lives of the Christ-follower. However, I think it is advantageous for us to take the opportunity at this holiday season, when people are experiencing the hope of Christmas, to share with them the true hope that came and is coming in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. Does observing Advent make one a better Christian or more acceptable to God? No. However, celebrating Advent as a reminder of what this season is about is very good – and therein lies its greatest value.
Here’s a preview of the upcoming sermons:
Sunday Nov 29
Advent: Hope has come…Hope is yet to come!
1 Peter 1:1-25 (focal verses 3, 13, 21)
Sunday Dec 6
Advent: Love has come…Love is yet to come!
1 Peter 1:1-25 (focal verses 8, 22)
Sunday Dec 13
Advent: Joy has come…Joy is yet to come!
1 Peter 1:1-25 (focal verses 6, 8)
Sunday Dec 20
Advent: Peace has come…Peace is yet to come!
1 Peter 1:1-25 (focal verses 2, 25)
Wednesday Dec 23 “Christmas Eve-Eve Service”
Advent: Christ has come…Christ is yet to come!
1 Peter 1:1-25 (focal verses 10-13)
I hope to see you at our Advent Services this Season. In the meantime our prayers continue to be “Come Lord Jesus, Come!”