It seems as if time is passing us by too quickly. Just last week we were celebrating Thanksgiving, and now we are in the Advent Season. Just imagine, a few weeks from now it will be Christmas Day.
The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival” and signifies the start of an event or the arrival of a person. In the Christian faith, Advent refers to a four-week season of remembering and celebrating the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth on Earth. The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in His First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in His Second Advent. In many churches a candle is lighted and Advent scripture readings are shared during worship. We affirm that Christ has come, that He is present in our lives today and that He will come again in power and great glory.
This year, Advent is observed from November 27th to December 24th. It starts four Sundays before Christmas and always ends on Christmas Day.
Some of us of the Christian faith usually wait until Advent before the hanging of greens, decorating with evergreen wreaths, hanging boughs, or putting up trees which help symbolize the new and everlasting life brought through Jesus the Christ. No longer do many of us await Advent, for the decorating in some cases start in advance of Thanksgiving. Whatever we do, let’s make sure we are Christ centered when doing so.
In our tradition, we focus on four themes during Advent: hope, peace, love and joy. The focus is placed on one of these words each week leading up to Christmas.
Listed below are some Bible readings for Advent 2022:
First week, November 27th: Isaiah 9
Second week, December 4th: Isaiah 40
Third week, December 11th: Matthew 2
Fourth week, December 18th: John 3
Leading up to Christmas Day, an enormous amount of time is used for decorating and shopping, but Advent is intended to be a time of fasting and prayer. As we reflect on all of the recent mass shootings, the insurrection, evil, hatred, etc. in this world, it causes us to look forward to His Second Coming.
Anyone who has an ounce of brains understands that we are living in some perilous times. It causes us to sometimes wonder if there is any hope about our future. May I remind every believer that there is hope in God during these unprecedented times. As believers in God, let us continue to keep the faith in the midst of all the perils we are in at this time. God has brought us through some tough times before and he will do it again.
Now is the time that we must hold fast to the Word of God as stated in Psalm 119:49-50: “Remember thy word unto thy servant upon which thou has caused us to hope because this is our comfort in the midst of affliction; the word has kept us and quickened us.”
Please take time also to read 2 Timothy 3, King James version which makes it very clear what the behaviors of mankind will be during perilous times.
During this Advent, it is my hope and prayer that all of us will be able to figure out ways to have peace, joy, hope and love in our lives. Without those four words being dominant in our lives, life will be miserable.
As we move into the future, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9+
Let this be a season of reflection, but also a time of trusting God like never before.
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor