Pastor Andy Ober shares an progress update on planting Highrock SW Boston.
Advent is typically a season marked by joyful anticipation. It's when we start hearing and singing Christmas songs and counting down the days till Christmas and all the jolly festivities that come along with it. But the season of Advent is more than just a countdown to Christmas. The word advent comes from the latin word adventus, translated from the greek word parousia and means coming or arrival. The coming or arrival of what/who? Of Jesus Christ the Messiah, the Savior and Redeemer of Israel and all the world!
Advent is a season of deep longing, hopeful, yet tarried expectation and desparate waiting for the coming and arrival of the prophecied messiah. A season in which we remember a question that psalmists and prophets throughout the Old Testament asked time and time again: "how long, O Lord?."
In the New Testament, advent is associated with Jesus' second coming. So for us on the other side of Christ's initial entrance into the world, we remember and share in the longing of the Israelites who awaited his first coming and now live in our own waiting and expectancy of his glorious second return, sure of the hope that He promised that stands as an anchor for our souls.
In many church traditions including ours, one way to celebrate and participate in this season is using the Advent wreath and the lighting of candles. An evergreen wreath with 5 candles are interspersed within and four of the candles represent hope, love, faith and joy whith the fifth candle being the Christ candle. One candle is lit each week with the Christ candle being last as a representation of the coming of the light of Christ.
During this season we also encourage you to take part in this daily devotional. If you'd like to receive a daily email containing the days devotional sign up HERE. Also feel free to check out this Spotify playlist with Advent themed songs. We hope that during this season, you'll be able to experience an increased longing for Christ and look forward in anticipation to his return and the restoration that He will bring to our lives and world.
For families: an additional devotional has been designed with families in mind - a simple, easy-to-memorize call and response repeated each day, short daily scripture verses, and weekly themes with a short explanation for kids and longer explanation for parents. The guide is designed to go along with the lighting of an Advent wreath. We suggest creating a daily family rhythm for the Advent season - a few minutes at the beginning of dinnertime or before bed, for example - to light the wreath and use this guide. Physical copies will be available at our Sunday gathering, and you can also view it digitally here.