There are many synonyms for ‘advent’ – beginning, start, dawn, initiation – but I like ‘introduction’. Advent marks the beginning of a new year in the Christian church calendar and its four weeks are meant to be a time of expectation, anticipation and preparation for the coming of Jesus the Christ. However, it’s also a time when I’m re-introduced to the significance of my faith – that the whole point of his coming was to atone for my sinfulness.
That makes the whole Christmas story very personal because, believe me, when someone dies for you, it can’t be anything but personal!
On this first week of Advent I begin my annual wait in hope, in awe and in gratitude.
“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever …
I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.” [Psalm 89:1]
“And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in you.” [Psalm 39: 7]
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” [Hebrews 6:19a]
“But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more.” [Psalm 71: 14]