It is observed with various traditions and rituals by Catholics and other liturgical churches such as Lutherans, Anglicans, and Methodists.
In recent years, Advent celebrations of one type or another have been added to many evangelical services as well.
The word advent itself means-
– “arrival” or “an appearing or coming into place.”
Christians often speak of Christ’s “first advent” and “second advent.”
That is, His first and second comings to earth.
His first advent would be the Incarnation—Christmastime.
The Advent season lasts for four Sundays.
It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, or the nearest Sunday to November 30.
Advent ends on Christmas Eve and thus is not considered part of the Christmas season.
The Advent celebration is both a commemoration of Christ’s first coming and an anticipation of His second coming.
As Israel longed for their Messiah to come-
– so Christians long for their Saviour to come again.
Should Christians observe Advent?
This is a matter of personal conviction.
Here is the biblical principle:
“One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike.
Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord.” Romans 14:5–6.
There is certainly nothing wrong with commemorating Jesus’ birth-
– and anticipating His return—such commemoration and anticipation should be an everyday part of our lives.
Are Christians required to observe Advent?
Does observing Advent make one a better Christian or more acceptable to God?
Can celebrating Advent be a good reminder of what the season is truly all about?
And therein lies its greatest value!