Advent, Moving From Darkness to Light

December 3rd marked the beginning of the season of Advent, in our preparation for the coming of the Lord Jesus. The word 'Adventus,' in Latin, means a coming. Our faith is all about Christ and therefore we begin with His birth, His entrance into the world.

In many ways Advent is a time for renewal or a new beginning. We begin a new liturgical year, and begin once again, our never-ending quest to find our Lord Jesus Christ within our hearts.

Advent is also a time of watchfulness and waiting. We watch and wait for Him to come, that we might pass from our life of darkness into the life of light. The symbol of light is reflective of this Advent and Christmas season. This concept of light, being strongly associated with this time of the year, is not a Christian invention.

The choice to celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th was made as early as the year 273. This was the date for the pagan (Roman) celebration of "natalis solis invicti," the birth of the unconquered sun. The celebration of Christmas on the same date "Christianised" the ancient Roman feast of light.

During the darkest days of the year, where the days are short and cold, we long for the warmth of Spring, where life renews and once again becomes vibrant.

Advent is also a time for self-examination and asking for forgiveness, as we prepare for Christ’s Second Coming, even as we prepare for Christmas. This is why the colour of the season is purple (or sometimes blue), which is used for marking Lent, the season of self-examination preceding Easter.

The third week in Advent is set aside as more celebratory than the others. Rose is the colour of this week rather than purple, to mark the week, which is why a rose candle is used in Advent wreaths.

Advent, then, is a time of beginning, a time of watching, a time of light. It is a time for the decorations to begin. The lights of our Christmas trees, cribs, and other decorations sign The Coming, the birth of Christ, the Light of the Father, the Light of the World. He comes to light our path, the path to peace and justice, love and happiness.

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans tells us "the night is advanced, the days are at hand. Let us throw off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light."

Yes, He is coming indeed!

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At 04:07, Blogger David Russell said...

I would like to thank you for your blog and the many writings that are here. I plan to visit frequently!


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