Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Getting Ready for Advent

Advent begins this coming Sunday, December 2. This is from a website I use for service planning, titled Pericope:

Advent means coming. This is the season of the church year when we look forward to Christ coming in three ways: We prepare to remember His coming in history, at Christmas, we celebrate His coming to us in the Means of Grace here in the present, and we continue to look for His return, His coming, at the end of time when He will come to take us to be with Himself forever. This season is the logical "first" following the end of the church year. The end of the church year, culminating in the Last Sunday of the Church year, focused our attention to the coming of the end of the World in judgment. Now, we shift our focus to the One Who is coming in that judgment, as well as remembering that He comes to us in a very special way in the Means of Grace and that He came to us in time in Jerusalem as a Baby born of Mary. Christmas music of any sort short-cuts the anticipatory theme of Advent and is therefore not at all appropriate. Holding the season of Advent as a season of "coming", when the entire secular world is already celebrating Christmas since the end of September, and in full force during the entire month of December is not easy. May times the church is looked at as if She were behind the times, out of touch with reality. But the church is not a follower of the ways of the world. People come to church during any season of the year partially to escape the world of sin and to be transposed to the things of heaven. Each Sunday Service is a foretaste of the blessed communion that we will have with God in heaven. Our communion with God and each other in the Divine Sunday Service is the partial restoration of the perfect communion Adam and Eve enjoyed before they fell into sin.

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