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Advent 2009: Waiting with Expectations

Advent (from the Latin word “adventus” which means “coming”) is a season of the Christian Church when we engage a period of expectation and waiting in preparation for the coming of Jesus. This period immediately before Christmas consists of four weeks of preparation where we both remember the first appearance of Christ as Jesus of Nazareth in Bethlehem, and anticipate the second coming of Christ. As practicing Christians, we believe that the season of Advent serves a dual reminder of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews and Gentiles for the birth of the Messiah and the waiting that we do today in anticipating the Second Coming of Christ. For this reason, Advent readings are sometimes full of the sweetness of the Magnificat, or the shepherds’ experiences, and sometimes full of the imagined and apolyptical end time, when Christ will come for the last time and both redeem and judge the world and it’s inhabitants.

On the first Sunday of Lent, Western Christian Churches will move from the green of Pentecost to the blue or purple of Advent; this color change is one way to draw our attention to the spiritual themes of Advent: waiting and preparing for God, our spiritual king. During our daily experience of Advent, we are invited to slow down, reflect, pray, and incarnate love for one another and for God. The original tradition of gift giving comes from the intention to reveal care and love for one another. Please join us at St. Mary’s during this holy season as we engage liturgy, music, and fellowship to anticipate the arrival of God together.

Peace in Christ, Margaret

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