Monthly Archives: December 2013

Advent 1

advent wreath

Adventus in Latin means “coming”. Advent is the season leading up to Christmas in which Christians remember the coming of Christ to earth– the coming of the Savior Jesus Christ. The four Sundays before Christmas are indicated by the four candles on an advent wreath, with the fifth candle being for Christmas eve.

One of the most common and powerful songs of advent is “O Come O Come Emanuel” which is a song of the expectation of the coming of the messiah:

 O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel

Adventus is also the Latin translation of the Greek word Parousia, which is the word meant to refer to the second coming of Jesus Christ.  The second coming of Christ is to come at any moment,  and no one will know the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36)  Martin Heidegger said that the parousia leaves Christians with a perpetual constant anticipation of the coming– never knowing if this moment may not be the last moment of all time.  That perspective gives us an existential awareness of the moment, a view which leaves us always on knifes edge, wondering if the next moment will be the last before Christ comes.  He draws on Thessalonians, in which Paul discusses at length the importance of the second coming of Christ.

So in this advent season we anticipate in memoriam the arrival of the Christchild to bring salvation, but also the second coming of Christ.  Normally during this time leading toward Christmas we celebrate a lot of office parties and community get-togethers.  But as Christians we should especially be taking time to live in accordance with our non-worldly values– being especially concerned for the needy and the weak, those without voice and those who lack food, shelter, and friendship.

Coming of the fullness of Thanksgiving, it is important to remember all that we have, and so look for ways now to give to others, and to create ways to give to others.

May God have mercy on us all. andy

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