In the Christian tradition that I grew up in, advent was not a profound time of year, it was overshadowed by Christmas, as it should. However, when we look at advent in the light of Christmas, we can experience something remarkable. A few years back, on a Monday morning, the staff gathered for our weekly meeting. We were deciding on some things for an upcoming service when a piece of advice was given, “Let’s not sing Christmas hymns until Christmas.” That statement took me aback. What do you mean we can’t sing about baby Jesus in November? That thought had never entered my mind, and that was my introduction to advent.

Advent is a time when we wait for Jesus to come; in the past it was a season of prayer and fasting to make one ready from the coming Messiah. For me it is a time of longing, not just for Christmas but for the return of Christ. When we sing advent hymns like “Come, thou long expected Jesus” and “O come, o come, Emmanuel” I get a sense of yearning. For when that day comes all the world will experience Christ. It reminds me of a verse from the book of Revelations 21:4 describing the new heaven and earth for those whose names are in the Lambs book of Life: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” This advent season look for the longing of Christ in your life, and invite someone to Church to share this special season with.

Helping People Worship,

Loren Miller

Minister of Worship Arts