"Advent is an annual season of patient waiting, hopeful expectation, soul-searching, and calendar-watching".
"The English word "Advent" is from the Latin adventus, which means "coming".
"Advent (season) begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve (with the celebration of Christ's birth)".
The Advent season is a tradition, an optional thing, that many Christians have decided to take part in hundreds of years ago. Some families like to tie Advent into family traditions by using Advent calendars, singing songs and Christmas carols, giving gifts to loved ones and those in need, reading a daily devotional about Christmas and the Advent season, or the simplest, most popular and meaningful way to celebrate the birth of Jesus with the Advent wreath.
This year, for the first time, Will and I will be preparing and celebrating the days leading up to Christmas by reading through an amazing book that my Mom gave us called On This Holy Night: The Heart of Christmas along with John Piper's Advent devotional book (mentioned above), lot's of quite time, praying and reflecting on this special month.
It's not that I have never celebrated the Advent season before, or that I didn't find it important. It's that my Christian faith was never as strong as it is NOW and both Will and I want to strengthen our relationship with Christ and what better way to do that especially during this month? Another thing Will and I have talked about is creating our own holiday traditions, and the Advent is one we both wanted to include.
I want to be challenged. I want to remember and never forget the miraculous story of Jesus's birth. I want to show others that the true meaning of Christmas is not the gifts, the tree, the decorations or even the songs that are sung. I want others to know and never overlook the Christmas gift of a lifetime; a baby named Jesus, born to a virgin, who changed the world forever.
So join me this month by celebrating the Advent season! Each year I may celebrate it in a different way, but this year reading through the two books I mentioned above (and HIGHLY suggest) are what I plan to do and have enjoyed thus far. And please share with me how YOU celebrate the Advent and what some of your favorite holiday traditions are :)
My prayer for each of you today is that God blesses you this month with the strength to face future battles and roadblocks, faith in his love for you and hope and trust in Jesus's second coming.