It often seems like Christmas begins the second we put away all the turkey leftovers on Thanksgiving Day. Black Friday descends upon us, and most stores have had Christmas decorations out for nearly a month by now. It’s so tempting to jump straight to all the joy and excitement of Christmas Day and to try to maintain that celebratory thrill for the entire month of December. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
But it isn’t Christmas quite yet. On the last Sunday of November, Christians enter the season known as Advent. The word comes from the Latin adventus, which simply means “arrival.” Advent is the coming, the arrival, of the presence of God Himself— God with us. Starting in the 5th century, followers of Jesus from a wide variety of church traditions around the world have set aside the four weeks leading up to Christmas as a meaningful season of celebration and anticipation.
And that's what we'll be doing during these four weeks.