An Apology for Advent

We live in a consumer culture. Every year the Christmas decorations and displays come out a little earlier, the advertisements for Black Friday get more enticing, and Cyber Monday sales bombard our computers. There’s always more money to be made because we are willing to spend it. Sadly, as Christians within this culture we are not immune from this “spirit of the age.” We are products of our culture.

One of the ways our congregation confronts this sinful spirit of crass consumerism in our own hearts is celebrating the traditional Christian season of Advent on the four Lord’s Days prior to Christmas. From the Latin word adventus, Advent commemorates the arrival of our Lord as he humbled himself from eternal glory into our humanity in his first coming and as he will come again with great glory a second time. In hearing this message we, too, are humbled as we prepare the way of the Lord with repentance and faith.

These Sundays are no more holy than any other, but because we can be swept up into the consumerism of the age they are helpful for us a way to “redeem the time” (Eph. 5:16; KJV), pausing and mediating on God’s greatest gift—the coming of the eternal Son of God in human flesh. 
Advent is a season of participation as we join the patriarchs and prophets in looking back upon the coming of our Lord in the flesh. We enter into their experience of longing for his coming as we sing the Psalms and Advent hymns of the Church. Advent is a season of anticipation as we await his coming again with the cry, “maranatha”—our Lord come!

Advent is a season for you and me to celebrate our redemption from the coming judgment of God, to participate in it through Word and Sacrament, and to teach our children the mysteries of the Faith into which they were baptized:.

Our King and Savior draws near:
 O come, let us adore him!

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Join us this Advent season (Nov. 27–Dec. 18), Christmas Eve, and Christmas Eve as we preach and sing of the greatest news the world has ever heard: God has come to earth!

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