We have entered into the season of Advent. In the churches I attended as a child, Advent was never particularly celebrated. But in many churches and denominations, both Protestant and Catholic, Advent is an important time of the year. So, what’s it all about?
The word “advent” simply means “coming.” In the Christian context, it refers to the coming of Christ, as in the following verse:
1 Thessalonians 2:19 (NKJV) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?
The Greek word translated “coming” is parousia. It was the term used for the arrival of an emperor, a king, or a governor. The Latin translation of the word is “adventus,” which comes into English as “advent.”
So, the season of Advent is all about celebrating the coming of Christ into the world. That’s why Advent, which starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, is associated with Christmas.
Is Advent worth celebrating? That’s what the angels told the shepherds when Jesus was born:
Luke 2:10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
God Himself celebrated the coming of His Son into the world. And He wanted us to celebrate as well, for that coming, that Advent, represents “good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”
So, yes, whether we do so formally or informally, it is definitely in order for Christians to celebrate Advent. For the coming of Christ into the world is indeed good news of great joy!