Archive for December 4th, 2022

Traditional Advent


Written by Ace Collins, a contemporary author. This is an excerpt from his book “Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas.”

Advent is a Latin word meaning “the coming.” Officially established by church leaders in the sixth century, Advent was originally meant to be a time when Christians reflected on the meaning of Christmas and when new believers spiritually prepared themselves for baptism. Beginning on the Sunday nearest November 30th and running until Christmas Eve, Advent was essentially four weeks set aside to contemplate what the coming of Jesus meant not only to the world but to every individual’s soul. Hence, while recognized and organized by the church, Advent was also supposed to be a time of personal retrospection and growth.

Today, fourteen hundred years after the first Advent season, many families use the symbols of Advent—wreaths, candles, and calendars—to bring the spiritual meaning of Christmas alive in a way that teaches minds, touches hearts, and reflects the original purpose of the tradition. To the early Christians, three different meanings were to be found in the days of Advent, or the days of the coming. The first was the coming of the Son of God to earth in human form as the babe in the manger. The second was the coming of Jesus into the lives, hearts, and actions of those who accepted him as their Savior. The third was the future coming when Jesus will return to the earth as a king. As times changed and the world came to view Christmas in terms of the baby Jesus and not the role he played on earth and the role he will play in his future kingdom, the meaning of Advent changed as well.


Isaiah 9:6-7

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”


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