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Celebrating the Arrival while Waiting for Another

The Christmas season is a time of great anticipation. With Christmas music filling retail stores and the radio airwaves the day after Halloween and kids counting down the moments to see what Santa Claus might leave under the tree, we approach this season with great anticipation. 

But more often than we want to admit, the anticipation leads to disappointment. The in-laws chose not to behave, resulting in an awkward Christmas dinner. Your kid decided to play with the bag instead of the expensive Christmas gift. Or your few days off at Christmas quickly ran from restful to crazy.

What if there was a greater hope and longing under the layers of the commercial Christmas crazy we were invited into? Welcome to the season of Advent. Coming from the Latin word “adventus,” meaning “coming” or “arrival,” Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical year and serves as a time of anticipation and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. 

During Advent, we are invited to reflect not only on Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem but also on the anticipation of His promised second coming. This dual focus prompts us to examine our lives, repent, and prepare our hearts to receive Christ anew.

You are invited to go on a journey with us at Asbury this Advent season. We will examine how Jesus’ birth brings hope, joy, love, and peace to our hearts and our hurting world. In reflecting on Christ’s first coming, we will long for Jesus’ return when He will come and “make all things new” (Revelation 21:5).

Amidst the hustle and bustle of consumer-driven holiday preparations, Advent is an invitation to a counter-cultural practice. At Asbury, we invite you to slow down, reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, and cultivate a spirit of patience and contemplation in a world often fixated on instant gratification that often leads in disappointment.