ADVENT

Preparing our Hearts to Receive

Christmas is approaching, and in many cultures, it is the largest celebration of the year.  Other holidays get a single day, but Christmas is emphasized for an entire month, one-twelfth of every year.  During the Christmas season, billions of people set aside their normal routines to decorate their homes, send out greeting cards, buy gifts, go to Christmas parties, attend church services, sing Christmas songs, watch Christmas TV specials, and travel long distances to be with their families.  Christmas sights and sounds fill the air everywhere.  There are stores, even careers, that are exclusively dedicated to preparing for and celebrating this holiday.  When Christmas comes, you can’t miss it.  It’s everywhere.

Since Jesus is the reason for the season, we want to prepare our hearts by focusing our attention on the birth of the Messiah and how He will come again.  One way to accomplish this goal is Advent.  Advent is the journey toward Christmas, and it is our desire to slow our pace and take time to draw close to Christ.

Advent means “coming” or “arrival” in Latin.  It is not mentioned in the Bible, but it is a tradition that grew among Christians in Europe as a time when faithful believers prepared their hearts for the annual arrival of Christmas and the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Advent is a time for us to reflect on the first Christmas and how Christ manifests Himself in our daily lives.  It is also a time to prepare ourselves for His coming days here on this earth.
 
Over the course of the next four Sundays, we will reflect on 4 different words:

Hope ~ Love ~ Peace ~ Joy

The Advent season is an invitation for us to step back from our daily lives to see the big picture of God’s great salvation.
There are daily Bible readings that lead up to an Advent presentation each Sunday in December.
Enjoy!
Pastor Mark

Click on each picture for that week's Advent Devotional or scroll down for a printable version.

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