Megan Chalmers
Are we Overlooking Advent? | Advent Part 1

As we are entering the Christmas period, I for one am enjoying counting down the days until Christmas day. I remember waking up during the advent period each morning, heading downstairs, tearing open another window of my advent calendar and quickly sneaking the chocolate for my breakfast, hoping my mum wouldn’t see that it had already gone. Advent calendars were so exciting to me because even as a child, they embodied the excitement of the lead up to Christmas morning and still represent to me and many others (especially children) the excitement and the expectancy of Christmas day.

 In the midst of the crazy Christmas season, I thought that it would be appropriate to highlight the importance of advent in the countdown to Christmas. And in order to do so perhaps explain what advent is and why it should be so important to us today would be useful to all of those reading to help you celebrate Christmas.

What is Advent- A Brief History.

Advent isn’t just about chocolates or a countdown to Christmas, but it represents the expectant waiting of the nativity and the birth of Jesus as well as the expectant waiting for the second coming. For those of you interested, the Latin word adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ, something that can often be overlooked within church and at Christmas time. Surprisingly, there was originally no connections between the Advent period and Christmas until the Middle ages.

There is such a rich history around advent and we should use this time to reflect on the Nativity and to look forward and prepare our hearts for the second coming. It's important to be expectant as a new season begins and for the new life we will be given when Jesus comes again. I will unpack a little more about why Advent is still so significant and why we should be waiting with expectant hearts as we look forward into a new year.

Amidst the hectic Christmas season, it is easy as Christians to reduce advent to a cardboard box filled with chocolate shaped Santa’s and snowmen, but we should be more purposeful in remembering what and who we are celebrating . To help a little with this last year, we shared a number of resources that you can use to celebrate advent and make a conscious effort to remember this important time of year. You can find them here.

Are we overlooking the advent season? It is so easy to view it as a countdown to the big day, and think of it as reminding us about Christmas day, the birth of Christ. However, the meaning of the word suggests a bigger picture, looking at our purpose as Christians and waiting expectantly for Jesus’ return! As Advent begins I want to encourage you all to really take time to dwell on what and who we are celebrating and the joy that Jesus brought when he came to earth and the Joy he will bring when he comes again!