Advent 2018 - "Great Expectations"
By: Rev’d Dr. Johnny Jeffords
The new Christian year begins this Sunday with the first Sunday of Advent. The season of Advent precedes the Festival of Christmas as a time of spiritual preparation for the coming of the Christ into the world. That’s just what the word Advent means, “coming, arrival, approach.”
So much of this season is about the things we always do. Tradition is wrapped tightly around Advent/Christmas. We bring out the greenery, the Chrismon tree, the Advent wreath, and those colored candles (it’s rose, not pink!).
No doubt you have traditions within your home for how your family prepares for the season. For some of us this season is indeed “the most wonderful time of the year,” and for others of us, the darkness of winter falls heavily upon our spirits.
However it is you prepare, each of us carries some level of expectation for how things will unfold. Whether or not these expectations are met often determines the level of “joy” we feel for the season.
Most of those expectations are born from our own interests, desires, and preferences. And with a holiday, those expectations are dependent upon whether our traditions are kept in the same way as they have been previously.
But the expectations of Advent call us to prepare ourselves not for Christmas, but for the unfolding of the Reign of Christ that confronts the principalities and powers of Imperial Rule and ushers in a new ethic based not upon power, but love. Could there be any greater example than that the one we worship is born out back in an animal stall? This is who we worship?
The Great Expectations of Advent will be our focus in our worship this season. As we progress closer to Christmas, as the lit candles of the Advent wreath begin to encircle the Christ candle, our worship will serve to help us prepare with Great Expectations that the birth of Jesus is not trapped in history, but is a present reality. How is Jesus born in you this Advent/Christmas? Do you expect it?
Join us as we share in the power of that Great Expectation together.