Today is Advent Sunday though I won’t open my calendar and light my candle until Wednesday.
Adventus is the Latin term used to celebrate the arrival (or return) of a ruler; of the triumphant entry of the Emperor. It was a time of great expectation, of excitement. In Christianity there is a link in thinking to the aramaic word “Maranatha”, meaning “Come, Lord Jesus”. An expectation of Jesus returning again as King rather than child.
What are your expectations this Advent? Is it a time of expectation or a time of stress? Of watching old Christmas films or worrying about the arrangements? What are we looking for over the next four weeks? To borrow from the last of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, that always premiered at this time of year, are you waiting for The Return of the King?
The early Christians were heavily persecuted for 300 years and they focused heavily on the hope of Christ’s return rather than so much looking back to his birth. For those persecuted around the world today Advent remains a time of looking forward in hope. That despite their circumstances something better is coming and they are not abandoned. Do remember them this Advent.
Enjoy the calendar and candles; the preparation and parties. But may you find time to find a deeper hope this season too.