Really getting into 'Advent' this year - over and above the cheesy/chocolaty advent calender thing. Even with my CofE background the church I went to was so low we missed out on lots of the wonderful church calender stuff that i am now appreciating much more.
Anyway simple thoughts on 'Advent'
- Advent is from the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming"
- Adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia ("coming, arrival, personal presence")
- Its a period of expectant waiting and preparation
- Advent serves a dual reminder of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians today as they await the second coming of Christ
- These days I see the expectant waiting and preparation as less passive and more proactive
- In fact the bible story invites us to be part of the 'coming'
- The coming of the kingdom of God, a totally different empire than the one that the Xmas stories set themselves up to subvert (Herod 'king of the Jews', Emperor Caeser)
- The coming of Peace, 'Goodwill to all men', grace, love, justice, healing, the transforming power of powerlessness
- God becoming incarnate in humanity in order to save, rescue and redeem humanity
- Advent then seems now to also be about our part in that becoming incarnate / coming of God and his presence and in the reconciling of all things in him
- In Christ God came, in helpless babe
- For those who are now 'In Christ' we are also the helpless babes of his coming who will grow in grace and good deeds as apprentices of Jesus and followers of his way, as instruments of peace, as God's own gift to the world.
Perhaps everyday is an advent calender day when we open the door to the surprise possibilities of Gods coming in and through us.