What is advent and why do we celebrate it?
Advent has a different meaning depending on the Christian Religion; however, the primary purpose all Christian religions is to share the celebration of the birth of Christ and the miracle of his birth through the Holy Spirit. Mary, the chosen mother of baby Jesus, is told by an Angel that she will have a baby from the Holy Spirit. And she conceives a baby before meeting her husband Joseph. ( Mathew 1:18)
Our Hope in Christ
Without Christ’s birth we could not have a future of hope and peace in this world. A future with God that is different and better than the one we have now. A future to see our loved ones in heaven. We can look forward to seeing our Christian loved ones in heaven. “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2-3)”
Without Jesus we would be following the old customs of sacrificing for our sons and would not have the Holy Spirit to mediate to God on our behalf.
Jesus is your mediator
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus . . . . (1 Timothy 2:5 NIV)”
The Key is your Hope in Jesus
The key to unlocking the door between you and God is trusting in the story of Jesus. Trusting that God sent Jesus to live among men and die for the original sin in the Garden of Eden. After he died, Jesus beat death by rising three (3) days later, showed himself to his disciples, and then rose to heaven. If you believe, confess and share the story of Jesus you too may have the hope of everlasting life. “”That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Everyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” “(Romans 10:9-13)
Concerning the traditions of Advent
Some religions emphasize two comings of Christ: His birth and the waiting on his return. The first coming at the birth of Christ, the second coming while we may be on earth during our lifetime, or when our life ends here on earth. Historically, religions had different seasons of advent.
The season of advent could begin the last week in November until Christmas., or for other religions, mid November with the start of Lent until Christmas Eve (December 24). “The coming of Jesus”- refers to the several weeks of preparation leading to the coming of Jesus on Christmas Day and the anticipation of His coming again.
Advent is a time of reflections, prayers, serving, waiting, and hope. Joy for the season is shown to others by the kindness of serving or giving of gifts. Christians will often travel to see their family and extended family. On Christmas Eve the celebrations begins with fasting, then followed lent fast (November 15-Christmas) by sharing a meal with family and friends. New traditions now include meatless Fridays and skipping snacking between meals.
Advent old traditions included the use of colors, such as purple throughout the season, and the color rose, during Christmas week. Today’s tradition includes decorating with green and red.
Jesus is the Light of the World
The Advent wreath is a traditional centerpiece of the Christmas season and is still in use today. The holy season includes lighting candles each of the four Sundays in Advent. The candle symbolizes: prayer, serving and joy in the waiting and for the coming of Christ. Three of the candles are usually purple (or blue), which reminds us to pray and serve others lovingly and to prepare the way for Jesus. The candle for the third Sunday of Advent is the color of Rose. This color symbolizes our joy as the birth of Jesus draws near.
Scripture reference: “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12).
Traditionally, the tree with its lights was put up on Christmas Eve and left up until Epiphany (January). Today, many people enjoy the holiday season by decorating a tree before Thanksgiving and may take down their tree on Christmas Day.
“The Lord answered me: “Write down what I show you. Write it clearly on stone tablets so whoever reads it can run to tell others. It is not yet time for the message to come true. But that time is coming soon. The message will come true. It may seem like a long time before it happens. But be patient and wait for it. These things will happen. They will not be delayed.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3 ICB)
For the second coming of Jesus Christ, we must hold on to our hope and have patience.
“Brothers, be patient until the Lord comes again. A farmer is patient. He waits for his valuable crop to grow from the earth. He waits patiently for it to receive the first rain and the last rain. You, too, must be patient. Do not give up hope. The Lord is coming soon.” (James 5:7-8 ICB)
bible.knowing-jesus.com , Encyclopedia Britannica and Bible.com