What is Ad­vent?

The Covington News - - RELIGION - JA­SON DEES COLUM­NIST Ja­son Dees is a grate­ful fol­lower of Je­sus Christ, the hus­band of Paige and the fa­ther of Emery Anna. He is also the se­nior pas­tor of First Bap­tist Church in Cov­ing­ton.

I re­mem­ber be­ing a lit­tle boy watch­ing fam­i­lies in my church light Ad­vent can­dles on the Sun­days lead­ing up to Christ­mas and not really hav­ing any idea what they were do­ing or why they were do­ing it. You may have been a part of an Ad­vent ser­vice in the past and had sim­i­lar ques­tions so let me take me in th­ese few words an­swer the ques­tion, What is Ad­vent?

The word ad­vent comes from the Latin ad­ven­tus which means “coming.” It is a time for the church to com­mem­o­rate the first coming of Christ and to look for­ward to his sec­ond coming. At Christ­mas we cel­e­brate the coming of a sav­ior, Je­sus Christ. Je­sus, the Son of God, came the first time fully God and fully man. He came to earth as a baby, He lived a per­fect life and then gave his life for the sin of the world. Je­sus was pun­ished by God the Fa­ther and died, so that sin­ners like you and me could be for­given of our sins. Three days af­ter he was killed for the sin of the world, Je­sus came back to life, de­feat­ing death. Af­ter this res­ur­rec­tion he as­cend- ed into heaven from where he will come again to res­cue his church. If you be­lieve in Je­sus, you will be saved by him, your sins will be for­given, and you have the prom­ise to reign with him for­ever in his eter­nal king­dom.

In the Ad­vent we com­mem­o­rate the long­ing that a world which was lost in sin had for the Sav­ior’s first coming. For cen­turies peo­ple looked for­ward to the day when the Mes­siah would come to bring sal­va­tion. When Je­sus came the first time, he came as a suf­fer­ing ser­vant, but when he comes again he will come as a reign­ing king. As a Chris­tian I can­not wait for Je­sus to come back and so in the sea­son when we cel­e­brate his first coming, Ad­vent is a great op­por­tu­nity for the church to look for­ward to his sec­ond coming.

While there are no set scrip­tures in an Ad­vent ser­vice, there are typ­i­cally many scrip­tures read, fol­low­ing the story of Christ­mas from prophecy to the ac­count of the birth of Christ. In ev­ery Ad­vent ser­vice, how­ever, it is cus­tom­ary to light can­dles. Th­ese can­dles re­mind the church that the light of the world has come into the world to over­come the dark­ness of sin and to bring sal­va­tion to all who be­lieve in Je­sus. So this Ad­vent sea­son in your church re­mem­ber that the light has come and that he is our only hope, but also re­mem­ber that Je­sus, the light, is coming again to save the church, to set­tle all ac­counts, and to make all things new. Come Lord Je­sus, come!

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