Our book of worship tells us that Advent is a season of four weeks, including four Sundays, and the word Advent is derived from the Latin adventus which means “coming.” The season prepares us for the coming of our Christ. So the focus is less on the Christmas story and more on what it means to prepare a place for Christ to be born anew in our lives. Since we are so often bombarded by secular Christmas music and symbols we often spend very little time pondering the real impact the birth of Christ has on us and our future. The Christ that is born in a humble stable is one who is always looking forward to the changes that will come when God’s ways are fully known by all creation. Advent is always pushing us to evaluate our lives and open them to the gift that is given to us in powerful and loving ways.
We will begin our Advent here at West Springfield UMC with the hanging of the greens, and a theme called the “The Birth Quake.” Through the four weeks of Advent we will ask: “What promises has God made to us and how are our lives shaken up and then grounded in the birth of this small child?” There will be a weekly Advent wreath and we will layer on the symbols of our journey. I hope that you will join us for worship and Sunday School.
It takes time to accomplish a purpose. Christmas is not something we can rush. Christmas truly comes when our hearts are open to change and signs of hope in this world. I know that many of you are facing serious challenges in your life, and that you are in places of pain, anger, and some grief. Advent brings us an opportunity to look at those feelings and to hold them up as real and even valuable, then it offers us a perspective of love and caring that is unique from God and surely our most precious gift. Come, my friends to this season of Advent and let’s see what God reveals to us.