Advent

During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning.  Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.  The season of Advent, which comes comes from the Latin word adventus meaning  “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas (November 29th) and ends on Christmas Eve. 
 

Although we are accustomed to celebrating Christmas on a single day, in both Christian tradition and on the Church calendar, the Christmas season lasts sundown on December 24 (Christmas Eve) through Epiphany of the Lord (January 6). This is sometimes popularly referred to as “the twelve days of Christmas.” As Taylor Burton-Edwards notes, the Christmas Season “begins with the birth of Jesus and gives us two full weeks to encounter the extraordinary love, threats, dangers and opportunities God’s Incarnation [in the birth of Jesus] set off then and still sets off today.” 

God entered our world, not as a conqueror but an infant, demonstrating the depth of God’s love — and a radical vision of peace and love — for all creation.