Last spring at EXP, we observed the season of Lent together as a way to deepen and enrich our experience of Easter. As many of us discovered, the 40-day period of fasting and deliberate reflection helped to make the celebration of Christ’s resurrection that much more meaningful. (Which, to be honest, is a pretty weird thing to say. After all, can we really add more meaning to the resurrection? Isn’t it meaningful enough without our help? Maybe a better way to put it is that Lent allows us to remove the smudgy, dirty glasses we’ve put on, which allows us more clearly see the resurrection for what it was, and is.)
Anyway, Advent is very similar to Lent, in that it’s a holy season in the Christian Church. It’s a season of observance that helps us prepare for Christmas, when we celebrate the coming of Christ. It creates expectation. It helps us reflect. It keeps us from treating this Christmas as just the thing with the trees and presents and shopping and songs, and causes us to focus on the wonder of the Incarnation — of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.
We’ll be explaining a lot of things about Advent here on the blog, but there are tons of good resources available if you want to learn more. Here are a few links and articles that give a good overview of the season, so click away.
The Christian Season of Advent (Christian Resource Institute)
The History of Advent (The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod)
Happy (?) Advent (Christianity Today)
Close Encounters of a Liturgical Kind (Christianity Today)