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The Season of Advent

POSTED: December 2, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent, the sometimes forgotten season. After all, we all know last week we celebrated two major holidays in the United States, Thanksgiving and Black Friday. 
After Thanksgiving we usually just jump into Christmas mode and forget that we have an entire season to celebrate. The Christmas music is already playing and the decorations are all up. We also see all the department stores decorated for the Christmas season, actually we have seen that for the past month. 
The name Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means coming. Advent is the season where we focus on the three comings of Christ. The first coming is the coming that we focus upon Jesus Christ being born, walking among mankind, and dying for the sins of the world. 
The second coming is the return on the Last Day, when Christ returns and we are all raised from the dead and stand before the throne of God.  This is when the goats are separated from the sheep and when we will all be judged.
The third coming is the present coming, when Christ comes to us in Word and Sacrament. This is the coming that occurs each and every Sunday when the Word is proclaimed and the Sacraments administered.  
These are the comings that are celebrated throughout the season of Advent. We, of course, focus upon the first coming, but we also focus upon the end times and the coming that currently occurs every Sunday.
This season is short, only four weeks long, but it is not something that we should just skip over and move into the next season. This is a time where we need to slow down and take the time to focus on the season of Advent.  Historically, this has been a penitential season, similar to that of the season of Lent and it is a time to focus upon the expectant hope of the return of the Christ. 
It is during this season that we pray, as we do in the common table prayer, “Come Lord Jesus” and we focus upon the coming of the Messiah. It is a season that should not be just overlooked, but one for expectant hope and joy. 
I hope and pray that this is a time that all who read this will take the time to slow down and take the time to focus upon the season at hand.

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