All last week Americans heard over and over about Thanksgiving and Black Friday. But today is the First Sunday of Advent and in the Christian faith this is the beginning of the season, the looking toward the Coming of the Christ child.
Sunday, November 2 begins the liturgical season of Advent in Western Christian churches. This may involve special prayers and the lighting of the first Advent candle.
Some churches or families may choose to follow an Advent calendar counting down the days until Christmas. After World War II, military personnel and their families who had been stationed in Germany brought them home to the United States.
In Eastern Christian churches a similar observance, called the Nativity Fast, runs for 40 days.
“The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will fulfill the promise
I made to the house of Israel and Judah.
In those days, in that time,
I will raise up for David a just shoot ;
he shall do what is right and just in the land.
In those days Judah shall be safe
and Jerusalem shall dwell secure;
this is what they shall call her:
“The LORD our justice.”
Old Testament Scholar, Dr. John Oswalt, speaks to how the Old Testament speaks of the coming of Christ.
Here are some resources to help celebrate Advent.
You Version (the electronic Bible) has featured reading and devotional plans for Christmas and Advent.
d365 offers Devotionals for 365 Days a year and offers “Following the Star” an Advent guide with Scripture and meditations. The series begins today with “Hope.” Writer Mihee Kim-Kort, says: “Advent is a seson in which we can cultivate a posture of waiting and watching with hope.”
How to Make an Advent Wreath
Catholicism at About.com
Apartment Therapy offers 35 DIY Advent Calendars to Make Now So You’re Ready for December. There are options for those not of the Christian faith who still wish to count down the days to Christmas.
Advent, it’s about preparing the way.