Wednesday, November 25, 2015

ADVENT 2015 - "Let Every Heart Prepare"

Advent is the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in the Western tradition; and the purpose of having church seasons, such as Advent and Lent, are to create meditative rhythms in our life together. These corporate and communal rhythms are all based upon the true and sure foundation that Jesus is the Messiah, the Lord and King of all!

Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is always the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve, December 24th. It's a season marked by expectation + anticipation in preparing to celebrate the coming of Jesus.  Traditionally, Christmas begins with Christmas Day, December 25, and lasts for 12 days (The Twelve Days of Christmas) until The Day of Epiphany, January 6, which looks ahead to the mission of the church to the world in light of the Nativity and/or Jesus’ Baptism (depending on your Christian denominational traditions).

The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation will one day be put to rights. That is a process in which we now participate, and the consummation of which we anticipate.

ADVENT 2015 at Grace Church:
This Advent, 2015, we are meditating on this simple, yet intricate idea: LET EVERY HEART PREPARE as we spend the four weeks of Advent looking at how each of the four Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, + John) introduced the birth/coming of the Messiah.

Some Advent Reflections:
This Advent season, spend some time reflecting on the following questions:
  • What are you waiting for?  What’s the next “big thing” you want to see happen in your life? 
  • What is it that you think will complete you and make you happy? In other words, what are you hoping, longing, and preparing for? 
  • Does the way you answer these questions match the way you live? If not, what needs to change?

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