Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44; Psalm 122
The word advent is derived from the Latin word, adventus, and means “coming.”
The observance of Advent began in the 4th century as a period of penance and preparation for baptism at Epiphany. It was originally at the end of the liturgical year and was focused on Christ’s second coming. It was a kind of Lent then, more serious, and was observed by early Christians for 40 days before Christmas. By the 6th century, it had been shortened to the 4 weeks before Christmas. And by the 12th century, it had become a more joyous season. Today, it is the first season of the church year and combines the joy of Christ’s birth and the promise of His coming again. We are called to prepare for both.
So, how do we prepare?
Isaiah puts it this way:
Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord….. that He may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths (Is. 2:3).
Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord (Is. 2:5).
Paul says in Romans:
Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light (Rom. 13:12).
Let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy (Rom. 13:13).
Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ …..(Rom. 13:14).
Matthew tells us:
Keep awake, therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming (Mt. 24:42).
And the Psalmist says:
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good (Ps. 122: 9).
As we prepare our hearts for His coming, let us pray in the words of this ancient prayer:
By your word, O God, light dispels darkness. In sending Jesus, the Light of the world, you set us free from fear and despair, for He rules in peace and justice, holiness and love. Dispel the darkness of our hearts by the gracious light of the coming of your Son, so that we may be heralds of your truth and witnesses to the coming of your kingdom. Amen.