The Meaning of Advent

The Advent Season Prepares us for Mission

Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas. 
Advent means 'Coming' in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.

There are three meanings of 'coming' that Christians describe in Advent. The first, and most thought of, happened about 2000 years ago when Jesus came into the world as a baby to live as a man and die for us. The second can happen now as Jesus wants to come into our lives now. And the third will happen in the future when Jesus comes back to the world as King of heaven and earth.

The Advent season, and its annual buildup to Christmas Day, serves as an important periodic reminder that the most important part of the Christian mission isn’t the Christian, but the Christ.

Our little efforts at incarnational living, courageous and self-sacrificial as they may be, are only faint echoes of the world-altering, one-of-a-kind Incarnation of the very Son of God.

This is where the Advent reminder is so essential. We are sent as representatives of the one born in Bethlehem and crucified at Calvary. We are sent to announce with all we are — with mouth and mind and heart and hands — that the Father sent the Son.

That the Father sent his Son to share fully in our humanity is no mere model for mission. It is at the very heart of the gospel which our mission aims to spread. Christian mission exists only because the Message still needs to be told.