We live in a consumer culture.
Every year Christmas decorations go up a little earlier than the year before. “Black Friday” used to be the day business relied upon to get them “in the black” for the year. Now the sales begin before Halloween and keep going well after “Cyber Monday.” Christmas has been co-opted into the generic “Holiday Season” because it brings in even more sales.
In this context our congregation follows the traditional practice of celebrating the Christian season of Advent. From the Latin word adventus, the season of Advent begins four Sundays prior to Christmas and celebrates the mystery of the Lord’s arrival to the world. These Sundays are no more special or holy than any others. But since we, too, can be swept up into the spirit of the age with consumerism it is helpful for us to “redeem the time” (Eph. 5:16; KJV) by pausing and meditating on the coming of the eternal Son of God in human flesh.
Advent is a time of celebration in singing, praying, preaching, and catechizing (“instructing”) our children in the mysteries of the Faith into which they were baptized.
Advent is a time of participation as we join patriarchs and prophets in looking back upon the first coming of our Lord as we sing Psalms and ancient Advent hymns.
Advent is a time of anticipation as we join the historic Christian Church in awaiting Jesus’ coming again as we cry out, maranatha, “Our Lord come!”