SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
from The Revised Common Lectionary
God of peace,
Instill in us Your peace
That surpasses all understanding.
As we prepare for God’s coming,
Make us instruments of Your peace
And held us to find rest
In the Prince of Peace
Your Son, Jesus the Christ.
ON THIS SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT, we light the candle of peace. A state of being that means tranquility, mental calm, and serenity. We bring our request before God in asking for peace, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. Christmas is typically a time of celebration and joyous expectations.
Anticipating the Christ
By Debora Buerk
Editor, Here & Now
& Selah Companion
Old English, from the Latin
and from advenire,
from ad- ‘to’ + venire ‘come’.
birth, approach, nearing.
For Christians, Advent is a time spent preparing for Christmas. For many of us, this can include decorating our homes, putting up a Christmas tree, creating an Advent calendar, writing Christmas cards, gathering with family and friends for dinner, and giving gifts.
The word Advent originates in Old English from the Latin word “adventus,” or “coming”—the arrival of God in human form, umbilical cord, and all.
While some are tempted to think of Christmas as an event to be observed at the end of the calendar year, they would miss the origin and meaning of Advent.
We don’t know when the period of preparation for Christmas, now called Advent, began. It existed from about 480, with the Council of Tours in 567. What we know and celebrate is a time of preparation for Christmas Day, when we celebrate the birth or beginning of the Christian liturgical year.
Advent anticipates the “coming of Christ” from three different perspectives:
- The physical Nativity in Bethlehem
- The reception of Christ in the heart of the believer
- The eschatological second coming
This third meaning, I believe, was the focus of the early church—to wait for Christ’s second coming. This, however, has become downplayed among today’s Christians.
What if our focus
was to shift to waiting
What if our focus shifted to waiting, anticipating, and preparing for the King’s return to earth, the defeat of Satan and sin, and peace on earth? Now that would be something to anticipate and celebrate.
So this Advent season, as you decorate for Christmas, sing the carols, and light the advent wreath, try to anticipate—look forward to Christ’s return and, with it, peace on earth. What if we wished each other a “Blessed Advent” as a prelude to “Merry Christmas?”
In doing so, we can simultaneously give and receive the love of God to each other—as we anticipate and draw near his birth.
I wish you a joy-filled Advent for all of us in the growing Selah community.