Monday, December 17, 2012

Why Advent?

It's a good question:  why do we (the Baptist church I pastor) celebrate Advent?  Isn't that on the calendars of Catholics and Episcopalians and a few Methodists?

Good question.

It's true, lower church traditions (meaning less formal than more liturgical/tradition-oriented denominations like the ones mentioned above) are not known for celebrating Advent.  But I think it's important and I can sum up why in a single sentence:

Black Friday and Super Bowl Sunday ought not be the major anticipations of our holidays.

Cynical?  Probably.

But the key for me and what I hope to communicate to Jesus' church is that this rhythm of expectation is a good thing.

The first Sunday of Advent is the Sunday of Hope:  we look forward to His coming.

The second Sunday of Advent is the Sunday of Peace:  we look forward to His benefit.

The third Sunday of Advent is the Sunday of Joy:  we look forward to our response to His causation.

The fourth Sunday of Advent is the Sunday of Love:  we look forward to knowing it fully, demonstrated 30-something years later outside of Jerusalem.

So that's why we celebrate it as a church.  But I think the rhythm of expectation is important - even if we can't articulate all the reasons why.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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