December 4, 2022

Advent Tradition

By: John Poundstone

Advent: we say that word a lot around here this time of year. A fair question: “What’s the big deal about Advent”?

History of Advent

You may not be familiar with the Advent tradition and season. It goes back at least 1700 years in the church. The tradition largely died out over time, except in more liturgical denominations (Catholic, Episcopal, Orthodox, higher Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian churches, etc.) In those traditions it is still practiced. There, a lot of attention and resources are directed to Advent.

Advent revival

Advent was brought back in certain circles in the first third of the 20th Century. That was in part because leaders and influencers at the time thought Christmas was becoming too commercialized and the “Reason for the Season” was starting to get lost. They stated at the time they wanted to return to the rightful focus: Christ. Almost 100 years later, it’s brilliantly evident they were right! For us at Joy! Church, that seems reason enough to participate.

A vision for Advent

There is more. We also view Advent as prophetic in origin and nature (defined as bringing Heaven into Earth). A worldwide community of any size that is yearning for, pulling on, desiring the MORE of Jesus the Christ—who is the same yesterday, today and forever… that’s something we want to get in on!

It is a perfect prophetic season to draw near to God; to renew intimacy with Him. Whenever one sincerely and sacrificially invests in doing that, hope, peace, joy and love manifest. We don’t believe it’s any accident those are the 4 Sundays—signified by 4 candles—of Advent.

Questions to ask God during Advent

Advent is a perfect season to ask great God questions. Here are some:

Surely there must be more?

Why do I feel pulled toward the deeper things of God?

What’s God really like?

What does He really think of me?

What things and aspects of me does God especially like, would love to nurture and prosper?

What aspects and ways does God lovingly desire to renovate in me?

What would God like me to center upon and focus on in the coming year?

Celebrating Advent

Many people (me included, sometimes) find that “high church” environments are wonderful places to experience the nearness of God and intimacy with Him. There’s just something about the liturgy, formality, repetition, pomp and circumstance. It’s easy to spit out the “bones” of dead tradition and feast on the “meat” of the wonder, majesty, reverence, holiness and power of God. Advent is one of the seasons best suited!

Resources for a Traditional Advent Celebration

Maybe you would like to explore traditional Advent? Click here for a very good interactive resource to learn more. It’s short, simple and useful. 

If you feel pulled toward learning more about the deeper sacred practices of the Advent tradition, you really can’t do better than Brian Zahnd’s works. Click here for a summary of those.

Interested in a very good daily devotional for the Advent Season that you can use every year? Brian Zahnd wrote one! It’s available from various booksellers. Click here if you want to see it at Amazon.

Advent Blessing

May you find this Advent Season to be rich in the hope, peace, joy and love who is Christ. Event better, may He find you and fill you. We encourage you to make that easy for Him. We love you. Yes, you.

Article written by John Poundstone

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