This year, I’m trying to engage more intentionally in the season of Advent. Though I spent the early years of my childhood in an Anglican church, most of my “spiritually conscious” years have been in Pentecostal or Charismatic or non-denominational, Evangelical churches that have not typically acknowledged Advent. What I’ve discovered in the past few years is that worship routines– or, if you prefer, “spiritual rhythms”– are how we reinforce a desire for God.
When the Church marked the four Sundays (and all the days between) prior to Christmas as the season of Advent some time in the 4th century, the intent was to create an opportunity for people to prepare for baptism in much the same way that Lent is a time for baptism candidates to prepare for water baptism on Easter. It became a time to focus, repent, reflect, and relive the longing for Christ’s arrival on Earth. As the tradition developed, the first Sunday of Advent became a time to focus specifically on Christ the King and His “Second Advent.” After all, remembering His first coming is an occasion to long for His second coming, the time when Christ will bring to pass all that He accomplished in His death and resurrection.
Here is a short clip of some of what I’m learning about how the first week of Advent teaches us to long for the return of the King: