If you go to a church that is at all liturgical you’ve probably just started Advent. This weekend, during service, someone lit a candle and discussed hope, peace or something similar. (unless you attend a Celtic church like me, in which case, it’s the third week of Advent) I think that church seasons are a great way of ordering the Christian life, walking through the ministry of Jesus Christ and his time on earth. It’s not something that I grew up doing, but it has spoken to me for a long time as a beautiful way of uniting the church body in a pattern of devotional life throughout the year–and not only the local body but also the universal body.
Right now, the church season is Advent and I love Advent. It’s my favourite season–right up there with Lent. Advent comes from a Latin word meaning coming and it refers to not only the coming of Jesus at Christmas but also his final coming when the world will be set to rights once and for all.
This year, so much has gone wrong in the world: hurricanes and typhoons, shootings and fires, floods and droughts, and conflict at every level of human society. I’m excited for Jesus to come–as a baby, as a mysterious child full of divinity while maintaining humanity. But I’m also looking forward to the distant future, when God will consummate his promises to Adam, Eve, Abraham and countless others.
Jesus is coming! He comes in 20 days!
But Jesus is coming later, to fulfill the promises, to be faithful to his covenants and to do what he has always planned: make shalom for all his people. And with the rest of creation, we grown in anticipation for that final, glorious day which is the beginning of all things.